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Recipient of Third Annual Sherrill Milnes VOICE Award Is Carlisle Floyd

October 22, 2015
The VOICExperience Foundation has announced American opera composer and librettist Carlisle Floyd will receive the third annual Sherrill Milnes VOICE Award. Launched in 2013, the award recognizes those who – like the peerless American baritone – have made an extraordinary contribution to the perpetuation of vocal excellence in opera and classical music; previous recipients are operatic luminaries Diana Soviero and Mignon Dunn. Considered “the king of American opera composers” by Milnes, Floyd is not only the creator of such modern masterpieces as Susannah and Wuthering Heights, but an exceptional educator with a profound influence on younger composers. His students include Michael Ching, whose chamber opera Alice Ryley: A Savannah Ghost Opera is a Milnes VOICE programs commission that receives its world premiere performances in Savannah on October 30. The Sherrill Milnes VOICE Award will be presented to Carlisle Floyd during Opera America’s National Opera Week (Oct 23–Nov 1) in Savannah, GA.

About Carlisle Floyd Born in 1926, Carlisle Floyd is one of American opera’s foremost composers and librettists, whose operas are regularly performed on both sides of the Atlantic. Spanning more than half a century, they include Susannah, Wuthering Heights, Of Mice and Men, Bilby’s Doll, Willie Star, Cold Sassy Tree, and Prince of Players, which is scheduled to premiere at Houston Grand Opera in March. Like Milnes, the distinguished composer has provided considerable education and mentoring to the younger generation, giving numerous masterclasses and extensive coaching at VOICExperience and the Savannah Voice Festival. He also served as chairman of the Opera Musical Theater of the National Endowment for the Arts, and as Professor of Music at Florida State University and the University of Houston, where he co-founded and co-directed the Houston Opera Studio. His many previous accolades include a National Medal of Arts, presented at the White House in 2004, and recognition as one of just four honorees at the inaugural National Endowment for the Arts Opera Honors in 2008.

About the VOICExperience Foundation The VOICExperience Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established by world-renowned baritone Sherrill Milnes and his wife, soprano Maria Zouves. Its mission is to pass on the traditions of great singing and develop new audiences for opera. Since 2000, VOICExperience has helped thousands of singers find their career path through educational programs and workshops, where emerging artists work with the best names in opera, musical theater, and song. Now under the umbrella of the Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs, VOICExperience continues its dedication to the quality, integrity, and perpetuation of the vocal arts through life-changing intensives, performances, and community-enriching outreach events in Georgia, with its sister organization, the Savannah VOICE Festival, as well as in New York, Florida, and Illinois.

About Sherrill Milnes The definitive Verdi baritone of his generation, Sherrill Milnes celebrated his 80th birthday in January, and looks forward to commemorating the 50th anniversary of his 1965 Metropolitan Opera debut in December. To mark this milestone, November’s 81st Annual Metropolitan Opera Guild Luncheon, “Golden Celebration,” will honor the three-time Grammy Award-winner alongside fellow Met legends Grace Bumbry, Mirella Freni, and Renato Scotto, all of whom also celebrate the golden anniversaries of their debuts at the New York opera house this year. Through his acclaimed Sherrill Milnes VOICE Programs© – VOICExperience and the Savannah VOICE Festival – the baritone continues to make an invaluable contribution to opera, actively and passionately training young singers and developing new audiences for the vocal arts.

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