May 28, 2022 is the date for Voices of Spring, the wonderful every other year organ dinner on the stage of Overture Hall. This year’s theme will be “Klais meets Cabaret”. The stage will be transformed for the evening with a cabaret-style atmosphere, from the table décor to the repertoire performed on the magnificent Klais organ. Music swings from Gershwin and Berlin to Bach.

The evening begins at 6:00 PM with a champagne and hors d’oeuvres reception in the Overture Hall Lobby followed by a grand procession to the Overture Hall stage at 6:45 PM followed by seating for a gourmet four-course dinner. Throughout the evening, guests will be treated to exceptional entertainment by Greg Zelek, the Principal Organist of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and his friend and world-class Cuban soprano, Evelyn Saavedra. All proceeds from this event benefit the MSO’s Organ Endowment Fund.

To provide you with more information and to pique your excitement, Elaine Mischler and Rob Lemanske, co-chairs of the event, sat down with Greg Zelek to ask a few questions about “Klais meets Cabaret”.

How was the cabaret theme chosen?

The pipe organ, and especially our Klais organ at Overture Hall, is a versatile instrument that can play a wide range of repertoire. I wanted to create a fun atmosphere in the hall for our guests and transform the Overture stage into a cabaret-like nightclub, while bringing them the great artistry of our guest soprano and showcasing a new flavor of our instrument.

How will you intersperse classical organ music with cabaret-style vocal music during the evening?

Cabaret-style music is filled with memorable melodies, beautiful musical gestures, and exciting rhythms, just like much of the classical organ repertoire. In preparing for Voices of Spring, I have found that some of the song selections meld beautifully with classical works (i.e. Piaf’s La Vie en Rose and Satie’s Je Te Veux). It is a joy to be able to perform the distinct but congruous styles in one evening.

Why are you so excited to have your friend Evelyn Saavedra performing with you?

I met Evelyn in my first year of high school and we have been close friends now for over 16 years (even if it might appear that I recently graduated from high school). It has been wonderful to see all of her continued successes, such as her recent admission into the very competitive Artist Diploma program for Opera Studies at Juilliard, and we have been hoping to collaborate in Madison for some time. Evelyn does not only have a beautiful voice but is well-versed in singing many different musical styles and has both incredible stage-presence and flair. I know that the guests at Voices of Spring will love every minute of her vocal talent and alluring engagement with the audience.

Why is Voices of Spring one of your favorite Friends of the Overture Concert Organ hosted events?

There really is no other event like this one! To be able to sit on the stage and look out onto the hall is unique in itself. And to share in a champagne toast, march onto that stage to music, and then dine to a four-course meal interspersed with musical selections is as one-of-a-kind of an experience as it gets. This entertaining and special evening also supports the organ endowment and allows us to continue to share the highest quality music for our enthusiastic audiences for years to come!

Elaine and Rob invite you to join them, Greg and Evelyn at this event. More information and directions to register online are found at madisonsymphony.org/voices. Tickets are only available online. Don’t delay in purchasing your reservation ($175/person) as less than 15 reservations remain.