PUBLISHED: June 30, 2021 at 3:37 p.m.
PHOENICIA, N.Y. – With the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions throughout New York, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice will return this summer to its original venue of Parish Field in Phoenicia, according to a press release.
Last year, during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, the Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice was the first opera company in the United States to present a live, drive-in performance, the release said. The festival brought a socially distanced, drive-in production of “Tosca” to a parking lot at TechCity in the town of Ulster, drawing a crowd of 350 vehicles. Several other opera companies followed suit and mounted their own drive-in productions.
The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice planned to return this summer with another drive-in opera but that changed after Gov. Andrew Cuomo allowed New York’s COVID-19 state of emergency to expire on June 25.
“After much deliberation, we have decided that it is now time for us to come home,” the release said. “We are proud to announce that the festival will return to our original venue of Parish Field in Phoenicia, N.Y. and pick up where we left off…And this time we are bringing some friends.”
The release said the festival has invited both Teatro Grattacielo and New York City Opera to join it this summer.
Teatro Grattacielo will present “L’Amico Fritz” on Friday, Aug. 27, while The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice will present “Pagliacci” on Saturday, Aug. 28. New York City Opera will then present “Rigoletto” on Sunday, Aug. 29. All the performances will begin at 8:30 p.m.
Teatro Grattacielo will present a 90-minute version of “L’amico Fritz” and use specially designed projections as both backdrop and scenery. The production tells the story of bachelor landowner, Fritz, who falls in love with Suzel, the daughter of one of his tenants.
New York City Opera will present a 90-minute version of Giuseppe Verdi’s classic “Rigoletto,” which is a tragic story that revolves around the licentious Duke of Mantua, his court jester Rigoletto, and Rigoletto’s daughter, Gilda.
“Pagliacci” will be directed by the festival’s general director, Maria Todaro, and conducted by music director David Wroe. It is based on a real-life love triangle and murder and the production will feature an international cast.