P.E.O. Hosts VOICE Festival Co-Founder Event

Savannah P.E.O. Chapter L will host Maria Zouves, co-founder and executive director of the Savannah VOICE Festival on August 15 at the Skidaway Island United Methodist Church. The program in Bailey Hall begins at 9:30 a.m. with coffee and will feature performances by several VOICE Festival participants in addition to Ms. Zouves’ presentation. This event is free to the public.

The Savannah VOICE Festival is a nonprofit arts organization that brings classical vocal excellence to our area through a three-week celebration of concerts, events, and educational presentations during August. Events begin August 3 and run through August 25.

This seventh season of the VOICE Festival is themed Heaven and Earth and will offer music from opera, musical theatre, and popular song. According to a press release, Heaven and Earth celebrate the two realms in which we live, with shows about what’s beyond our physical nature as well as the earthly temptations of our humanity.

The Savannah VOICE Festival was founded in 2013 by opera legend Sherrill Milnes, who is universally acclaimed as the foremost operatic baritone of his generation, and his wife Soprano Maria Zouves. The Festival is an outgrowth of the VOICExperience Foundation, a nonprofit founded by the couple in 2001, which helps young artists pursue their careers in the performing arts.

Working with the VOICExperience, the Festival annually serves more than 100 artists, 5,000 audience members, and provides more than 45 events and community enrichment programs.

Mrs. Zouves, an educator, director, producer, and writer, has sung leading roles in the regional U.S., made her Carnegie Hall debut in 1997, and has recorded under the VAI label. She directs most of the concerts in the VOICE Programs and co-directed the new VOICE Festival opera commission, Ching’s Alice Ryley, a Savannah ghost story. She most recently directed Mozart’s Don Giovanni at the Estates Theatre in Prague, where the work first premiered and co-directed Le Nozze de Figaro with Milnes this summer in Prague and Salzburg with Prague Summer Nights. She recently was seen in the title role of the premiere of Ching’s Anna Hunter: The Spirit of Savannah.

P.E.O., the event sponsor, is an international women’s Philanthropic Educational Organization with more than half a million members in the United States and Canada. P.E.O. contributes to the advancement of women through scholarships, grants, awards, loans, and funding for an all-women’s college. P.E.O. has helped more than 105,000 women pursue educational goals by providing more than $321 million in educational assistance.

For more information, email Jan Durham (jandurham@bellsouth.net).