Savannah VOICE Festival announces Stay-at-Home series

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Another local festival is taking their talents online in order to keep performers and audience members safe.

The Savannah VOICE Festival (SVF) announced its latest initiative, the Stay-at-Home Festival, which will offer fans a way to experience live music during this time of social distancing.

Executive Director Maria Zouves says a lot of the performances were directed over Zoom, while the performers created the productions on their own devices.

“What’s unique about our particular program is with social distancing the way it is right now, our singers are really their own self film producers,” she said.

The performances will be free for anyone who wants to tune in on YouTube or Facebook. The 11 “variety” shows will feature music, comedy and educational moments that will air in real-time at 7 p.m. each night. If you miss it, you can catch the matinee replay at 11 a.m. the next morning.

“They’re in real-time with their pianist as a real recital would be, but there’s no audience. And with other cases like with a particular scene, all three artists in our Don Giovanni Trio are in three different states.”

With over 500 minutes of new virtual content, the Stay-at-Home season will feature recitals, concerts, an international song night, and a virtual celebratory gala.

“To your eye, as you’re watching the stream, it’ll look like they’re all together. I mean, you’ll see a little bit of a difference, of course. But its very fun to imagine that these are things that are being done separately and they’re working together in that way.”

Zouves says it’s important now more than ever to bring the community together through music.

“For singers, it’s even more dangerous to come together because the air droplets go further when you’re singing than they would just speaking, and we wouldn’t want to put anyone in jeopardy,” she said. “So rather than take that risk, we decided to embrace the upside of having Savannah featured on a global scale.”

SVF’s leaders and VOICE artists have become an important part of the cultural life of Savannah over the last eight years, with many artists seeing the Hostess City as their artistic home.

“We wanted to pay tribute to a city and community we love, so we have developed a series of Postcards from Savannah,” Zouves said.

“This idea came about organically and now we can bring Savannah, Georgia to the whole world via our web-based streaming service,” she continued. “We want to make this eighth season especially meaningful for everybody, as we are all dealing with the impact of these extraordinary times. In many ways, we have embarked on a brave new world for us and our classical artists, building a virtual, eclectic content with performances that translate the VOICE concerts and experiences from stage to computer screen.”

SVF has partnered with local community leaders and other cultural organizations to join in each of the eleven nights from iconic Savannah locations to bring Postcards from Savannah to viewers from around the globe.

The series will feature people and places that make up the rich cultural life of Savannah.

Mayor Van Johnson will kick off the Stay-at-Home festival with a personal message for lovers of the vocal arts from around the world, inviting the world to visit this historic destination when the time is right.

For more information about the festival, visit SVF’s website and Facebook page.

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