Savannah is travel destination with its finger on the pulse, boasting an innumerable amount of attractions, tours, shopping and restaurants. Savannah is also known for its increasing amount of festivals and events, but yet, something has still been missing……Until Now.
What’s Opera Doc? That was our question in our first year of attendance in 2013 at this Summertime Celebration of Opera, Musical Theater and Song. What is our answer? Opera is AWESOME, and is something that we think every person should experience at least once in their lifetime. These inspiring performers adjust one’s way of thinking by transporting the audience to another another era with their voice. If that isn’t enough, they are also ACTING the part at the same time as hitting the notes that will send chills down your spine! (Let’s see Tom Hanks do THAT!) All ages, genders and levels of musical interest will be attacted to at least one event during this two-week August festival, but don’t take our word for it….
In the months to follow, The Savannah Voice Festival will debut their new masterpiece, a fully produced, English Language Opera about one of Savannah’s favorite subjects, Ghosts. This Opera just happens to have been composed by a famous composer by the name of Michael Ching. Oh and by the way, Mr. Ching is best described as “provocative” and“compelling,” interested in Opera Noir?
Alice Riley is a haunting tale of an Irish Immigrant who traveled to Savannah in the city’s early colonization searching for a life of freedom, only to end up as the indentured servant of a cruel English master. She falls in love with fellow Irish native, Richard White, who ends up killing their owner and causes them to flee for their lives. The couple gets caught, as operas tend to go, and were sentenced to death. In a twist of fate, Alice is spared until giving birth to her baby, named James in honor of General Oglethorpe, who Alice hopes will give her a pardon for a crime not committed. No pardon comes and Alice is the first recorded woman to be hung in Savannah on January 19, 1735. Her spirit is reported to be seen by tourists and locals after dark, wandering around the “hanging square” looking for her baby amongst the Spanish Moss. Do you believe?
On August 14th, 2015 Savannah Dream Vacations had the fortunate opportunity to preview a sneak peek of this undertaking at an exclusive, Savannah Voice Festival Salon Member event. We were brought to tears of joy as we listened to these vibrant singers reciting words that were music to our ears such as; “Lowcountry, Shrimp and Grits and SCAD.” Yes, even SCAD sounds pleasant when sung by these talented artists, although we appreciate the purposeful pause to let the rest of the world know it represents the Savannah College of Art and Design. The Alice Riley Opera is short, sweet and to the point, which those of us who live here appreciate because it gets us to our liquor quicker! (wink, wink)
The musicality and the production of this production were ‘dead’ on and who could resist the spectacular venue at the historic Green-Meldrim House. This was also General Sherman’s Headquarters during his siege on Savannah during the Civil War and that explains why he didn’t burn the place – Stunning.
Don’t be SCARED, you didn’t miss a thing. The final production of Alice Riley is scheduled for its world premiere on Friday, October 30th, 2015 at the Charles H Morris Center.