Joyce El-Khoury Headlines Drive-In ‘Tosca’ at Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice

By Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Fay Fox)

The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice has announced that this year’s live opera staging, typically the highlight of its annual summer music festival will be a drive-in performance of Puccini’s “Tosca.”

The performance, set for August 29,  will take place at Tech City in Kingston, New York. As with drive-in movie experiences,  audience members will drive into parking slots and turn on their car radios for sound. The venue and the technology will ensure that audience members stay safe in their cars while musicians and staff “socially distance” onstage or behind it.

The cast will feature Joyce El-Khoury in the title role, Dimitri Pittas as Mario Cavaradossi, and bass-baritone Kyle Albertson as Baron Scarpia. Working with the cast and stage director Maria Todaro is Danish director Mark Chemnik, who presented a drive-in concert in Aarhus, Denmark in April featuring Danish singer-songwriter Mads Langer

This will be the only performance for the festival, which director Maria Todaro said “is both a response to the coronavirus pandemic and another way we are expanding the means of bringing great music to ever-wider audiences. I am grateful to the incredible amount of supporters, especially Alan Ginsberg at Tech City. It is a necessary change, but temporary. We look forward to being back home in Phoenicia in 2021!”

This is the third announcement of a drive-in opera experience. Previously, the English National Opera announced plans of performing its first production in the format, while the Deutsche Oper am Rhein also announced a drive-in gala.