About that Phoenicia Festival of the Voice

A reader emailed us to let us know that the 8:30pm shows tonight and tomorrow at the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice will be preceded by even more vocalicious festivity:

While the Friday and Saturday Performances are set for 8:30 at the park, Todaro notes there will be a special opening ceremony in the park on Friday at 8PM with Shandaken Town Supervisor Robert Stanley and Festival Co-Founder Louis Otey Hosting. On Saturday in the park at 8PM Classical Pianist Justin Kolb will speak about the history of the opera Falstaff, which is based on Shakespeare’s "The Merry Wives of Windsor."

The fest (like some other things happening in Shandaken lately) is bringing in some very heavy-hitting talent. A story in today's Daily Freeman explains why little Phoenicia is attracting international opera stars to sing by the banks of the Esopus:

In a place where the sounds of chainsaws and motorcycle engines more commonly fill the air than do operatic arias, one has to wonder how this came to pass.

The answer is simple: Three world-class opera singers call Phoenicia home.

The centerpiece of the weekend will be a concert version of Verdi’s much loved opera, “Falstaff”, starring baritone Louis Otey, of the Metropolitan Opera, 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The performance will also feature Kerry Henderson, of the Australian Opera, and Maria Todaro, of the Opera de Rio de Janeiro. It will be conducted by Metropolitan Opera maestro Steven White.

Otey, his wife, Todaro, and Henderson, all local residents, dreamed up the festival.

A very hearty thank-you to you, Otey, Todaro and Henderson. We're looking forward to this.

Painting by Adolf Schrödter, Falstaff und sein Page.