The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice is proud to announce their innovative, collaborative 2021 season! The festival will expand on their groundbreaking production of Tosca, the first drive-in opera production in the United States, at  Blueprint Parking Lot ( formerly known as Tech City) in Kingston, NY.  A similar setting than last August: live performance projected on gigantic jumbotrons , sound integration through radio in cars but also perfectly synchronized with the outdoor sound system.

This year, The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice welcomes New York City Opera and Teatro Grattacielo to the Catskills, offering audiences a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience these unique, immersive productions, adapted for prescribed Covid-19 protocols.

This will be a historic collaboration as 3 diverse companies come together to keep live performance alive, give work to artists, many of whom have been out of work for more than a year, and to bring fresh, innovative performances that will thrill audiences. Each company sees this effort as an act of resilience in troubled times. While each company features international artists of the highest quality, it still comes down to a community effort and the 189 volunteers of the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice and local community support that allows us to put this incredible festival together!


The Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice will present Leoncavallo’s thrillingPagliacci, directed by General Director Maria Todaro and conducted by Music director David Wroe. Based on a real-life love triangle and murder, the opera is best known for the searing aria “Vesti la giubba,” and for its gripping finale. Featuring an exciting international cast with Errin Brooks (who appears courtesty of the Metropolitan Opera) as ‘Canio’, Marcelina Beucher in the role of Nedda, Troy Cook in the role of Tonio, rising star Matthew Gamble as Nedda’a lover, Silvio and featuring for the first time Mattheus Bressan  and the exceptional participation of The Westchester Circus Arts in a new and inventive production, this Pagliacci will stay with you long after curtain call. La commedia è finita, indeed! Ms. Todaro will bring a modern version of this timeless piece to our stage, replete with cars, trucks, cell-phones and real circus performers. Don’t miss your opportunity to witness this unprecedented operatic collaboration! The breathtaking voices, thrilling drama, and stunning setting (Blueprint Parking Lot- formerly Tech City) offer an unforgettable weekend of opera you will never forget! 

Join us August 27-29.  For more info:


Role: Nedda



  • Saturday, August 28, 2021
  • 8:30 PM 10:00 PM

Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci was premiered in Milan in 1892. However, while traditionally set in that time period and in Calabria, the story is timeless – wanderlust, jealousy, intrigue, revenge, and the tragic outworking of human frailty. Maria Todaro’s production will be fully updated and replete with modern touches – cars, trucks, cellphones, and an appearance by remarkable circus performers. 


The actor, Tonio, delivers a prologue explaining to the audience that though they will be play-acting, the actors are made of flesh and bone, and, just like the audience, suffer the same difficulties in their private lives.

A village … wherever.

A crowd gathers to await the arrival of the strolling players along with some circus performers. The leader of the troup, Canio, invites them to a performance later that evening. As he and Beppe prepare to join the villagers at the inn, one of them jokingly warns him against leaving his wife, Nedda, behind with Tonio. Canio’s tense reply chills Nedda – that while he tolerates her infidelity in the play, should she stray in reality, the results would be tragic. Art and life are not the same, he says. Nedda wishes to be free of the sometimes brutal Canio, free like the birds to which she sings flying overhead.

Tonio, a hunchback, draws near, attracted by her song. But when he declares his love, she repulses him, at first mockingly and then angrily, finally striking him with a whip when he tries to embrace her. He slinks off, vowing vengeance. Hiding, he watches as she greets her lover, Silvio, one of the villagers. In a passionate duet, Silvio persuades her to leave Canio and run away with him. They agree to meet later that night.

Tonio has brought Canio, who overhears their parting words. Nedda delays him while Silvio escapes without being recognized. Tonio suggests that Canio bide his time, as the lover is sure to come to the performance and betray himself. Broken-hearted, Canio dresses and puts on his make-up for the performance, reminding himself bitterly that he is not a man – only a clown. In one of the most recognized melodies in opera, he declaims what every artist knows: I must play the clown even while my heart is breaking!

Later that evening

The villagers gather and the play begins. Columbina’s (Nedda) jealous husband Pagliaccio (Canio) is away, and after rejecting the advances of Taddeo (Tonio), she entertains her lover Harlequin (Beppe).

Pagliaccio returns and begins to question Columbina. Columbina’s parting words to Harlequin as he runs off are the same as Nedda uttered to Silvio, and Canio slips from the pretended jealousy of Pagliaccio to his own real situation. Canio mournfully asks her how she can betray him after he rescued her from the street, gave her a life and loved her. His sadness, however, turns to fury as he demands her lover’s name. Nedda, breaking character, says that if he has already judged her, then throw her out. But she quickly recovers and tries to keep within the frame of the play.

Forced to confront the reality of the situation, she refuses to name her lover and is shot by Canio. Silvio, finally realizing that the players are no longer just “acting,” rushes from the audience, too late to save Nedda, and is also killed by Canio. Tonio announces to the stunned audience: “The play is over.”

Role // Cast Member

Canio (tenor), Errin BrooksNedda (soprano), Marcelina BeucherTonio (baritone), Troy CookSilvio (baritone), Matthew GambleBeppe (tenor), Matheus Bressan      
Conductor, David WroeStage Director/Concept, Maria Todaro  
Westchester Circus Arts
Assistant Stage Director, Katia MichelopoulosLight Design, Dan JobbinsChorus Master, Jason TrammPianist/Accompanist, Douglas Jay MartinVehicles: Charter Armor, LLC, Christopher Mee
Videography/Film, James SapioneThe Phoenicia International Festival of the Voice Chorus and Orchestra Phoenicia International Festival of The Voice Children Chorus, Harvey Boyer