Press Room

Deborah Voigt hosts Sing With Haiti gala benefit concert in Grace Cathedral, Oct 2

Sing With Haiti presents a star-studded gala benefit concert to aid the rebuilding of the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which was destroyed in the earthquake of 2010. The Grammy Award-winning soprano Deborah Voigt – beloved for her performances on the opera, concert, and recital stage, as well as for her turns as host of the Metropolitan Opera’s popular “Live in HD” series – will host the gala concert in San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral on Wednesday, October 2. This important event will include performances by Voigt as well as from “America’s favorite mezzo” (Gramophone) Susan Graham, children’s choirs from the Holy Trinity Music School, and other distinguished guests. A gala reception at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel will follow the concert.
Other artists included on the gala program are Kiera Duffy and Laquita Mitchell, tenor Nicholas Phan, pianist/composer Jake Heggie, and conductor Donato Cabrera, with Les Petits Chanteurs and La Chorale des Fillettes, the two children’s choirs of the Holy Trinity Music School. Highlighting a week of celebrations, the gala concert and reception will help inaugurate Sing With Haiti, a non-profit organization founded to raise funds and resources for the ongoing work and rebuilding of the school.
As host Deborah Voigt explains: 
“I was very moved when I heard the tragic and at the same time very inspiring story of the Holy Trinity Music School, and am truly honored to host and perform at this event for Sing With Haiti. The fact that music plays such an important role in the elevation of the human spirit is evidenced by the courage of the teachers and students there.  Because of their belief in music, they have persevered in the face of tremendous adversity.”
Sing With Haiti’s executive director, Philip Wilder, adds:
“Many of Haiti’s most beloved cultural institutions remain in ruins, and are struggling to survive. As a musician, I find none of these losses more heartbreaking than the destruction of the Holy Trinity Music School. We have all witnessed the power that music education has to transform communities, and enrich the lives of children around the world. My colleagues and I at Sing With Haiti are committed to continuing this trend. We are proud to assist the ongoing work of the Holy Trinity Music School, and thrilled to have artists of such stature lending their support to our inaugural event.”
About the Holy Trinity Music School
Along with most of the Haitian capital, the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince was destroyed in a massive earthquake – one of the most devastating natural disasters of modern times – on January 12, 2010. The school, which has educated thousands of children in formal classical music, giving hope to them and their families for over 50 years, was left in utter ruin. The students’ classrooms, their auditorium, their rehearsal spaces, and instruments were completely destroyed. There was nothing left but music-making itself, and an undaunted will among the students and faculty to continue their education. The students never stopped playing. The faculty never stopped teaching. In parking lots, next to piles of rubble, in tents and under tarps, these remarkable young musicians continue to play and sing for Haiti.
About the artists
Soprano Deborah Voigt – winner of an Opera News Award, two Grammys, and Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year – is increasingly recognized as one of the world’s most versatile singers and music’s most endearing personalities. A leading dramatic soprano, internationally revered for her performances in the operas of Wagner and Richard Strauss, she is also celebrated for her portrayals of the heroines of Italian opera. An active recitalist and performer of Broadway standards and popular songs, Voigt has an extensive discography and has given many enthusiastically received masterclasses. She appears regularly as both performer and host in the Metropolitan Opera’s “Live in HD” series, which is transmitted live to movie theaters worldwide. Honored in the media with a CBS 60 Minutes profile, features in People and Vanity Fair, and appearances on Good Morning America, CNN, and more, Voigt has become America’s most visible and beloved diva. As Associated Press has observed, Voigt is “a stage presence that radiates an endearing charm.”
Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham – dubbed “a one-of-a-kind musical super-talent” (New York Times) – achieved international stardom within a few years of making her professional debut. Her operatic roles span four centuries, from Monteverdi’s Poppea to Jake Heggie’s Sister Helen Prejean (Dead Man Walking), which was written especially for her. Her recital repertoire is equally wide-ranging; her most recent release, Virgins, Vixens & Viragos, spans the music of 14 composers from Purcell to Sondheim. As one of today’s foremost interpreters of French vocal music, she was awarded the French government’s prestigious honorific, “Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.” Like Voigt, she has won Grammy and Opera News Awards and been named Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year.
Having impressed the New York Times with her “penetrating insight and luminosity,” soprano Kiera Duffy recently starred as Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire at Lyric Opera of Chicago and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in a new production of Parsifal. Fellow soprano Laquita Mitchell “dazzled the San Francisco Opera audience with her purity of tone and vivid theatrical presence” in the title role of Porgy and Bess. She is the winner of a Sara Tucker Award and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Prize. According to the Sunday Times, tenor Nicholas Phan is “a star in the making.” Hailed by the New York Times as “a major new Britten interpreter” and having two hit Britten albums to his name, he is a prime mover in this year’s celebrations of the English composer’s centennial. Guggenheim Fellow Jake Heggie – a collaborative pianist acclaimed for his “virtuosic and…sensitive accompaniment” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune) of Susan Graham and other leading lights of opera – is also the composer of such box-office sensations as the operas Dead Man Walking and Moby-Dick. Donato Cabrera is Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
About Sing With Haiti
A non-profit organization headquartered in San Francisco, Sing With Haiti works to raise funds and resources to support the ongoing work and rebuilding of the Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and to foster a cultural exchange between the school’s students, faculty, and administration, and their counterparts in the United States. Launching this October with a week of celebrations in Grace Cathedral and beyond, Sing With Haiti aims to create local and national visibility for the Holy Trinity Music School, and to connect its students and faculty with the wider music world.
Further details of the gala benefit concert are provided below, and more information about Sing With Haiti is available at the web sites listed.
Sing With Haiti
Gala Benefit Concert
To aid the rebuilding of Haiti’s Holy Trinity Music School, destroyed in the 2010 earthquake
October 2; San Francisco, CA
Grace Cathedral
Host: Deborah Voigt
Special guest: Susan Graham
Musical performances by Kiera Duffy, Susan Graham, Jake Heggie, Laquita Mitchell, Nicholas Phan, Deborah Voigt, and Les Petits Chanteurs & La Chorale des Fillettes of the Holy Trinity Music School from Port-au-Prince, Haiti
A gala reception at the Fairmont San Francisco Hotel will follow the concert.
Gala Reception tickets may be purchased by calling (415) 625-2942
Concert tickets may be purchased from Ticketmaster (available here).
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© 21C Media Group, September 2013



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