Good News: Savannah Voice Festival community outreach - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Good News: Savannah Voice Festival community outreach

Good News: Savannah Voice Festival community outreach

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

The Savannah Voice Festival took a break from the concerts and master classes to take opera to those who might not otherwise experience it.

"We go to schools and we try to break a little bit the myth with opera and what it is,’’ said Paulo Lapa, Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Savannah Voice Festival. “We show that it's pretty much expressing yourself through music and through drama.’’

Tthey make art accessible, as they did Tuesday morning by hosting 150 Savannah-Chatham Public School students at a dress rehearsal of Alice Ryley, one of the operas being performed during this year's festivals.

Many of the students were members of the Garrison School of Art choir, watching their own dreams play out on stage.

"I think it's just a great opportunity,’’ said Garrison Choir Director, John Tisbert, “for them to hear and see professional people working and see an opera.’’

"It's really cool, and I'm really happy my school got an opportunity to come to this,’’ added Kinsey English, a student in the Garrison Choir. “And I really think the actors are so good at this.’’

This type of outreach is a unique aspect of the two-week festival, performing community service between performances.

"We bring a lot of concerts and do a lot of pieces that we actually perform to those who cannot come to us,’’ said Lapa. “Last week, we were at the Children's Hospital. We go to nursing homes because we know these people would still be able to enjoy this, even though it's not a real theater or here.’’

And with so many voice students in the audience for Tuesday's rehearsal, the cast delivered another message as well.

"We are young artists still, and if we get the chance that some of them actually go home and think 'I want to do this,' or 'I can do this,' or 'let me try this,' then they are aware,’’ said Lapa. “They were here, they know us, and it's not that foreign.’’

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