Photo Courtesy of J.M. Giordano

Official Press Release

Opera Responds to the Pulse Nightclub Tragedy

One Voice Orlando - A Celebration in Song --- A concert benefiting the Orlando Health's Level One Trauma Center, the GLBT Center of Central Florida, the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, Holocaust Center's Upstanders: Stand Up to Bullying Initiative, Somos Orlando, and the Zebra Coalition

For one night only, on Sunday September 11, 2016 at 8 p.m., One Voice Orlando: A Celebration in Song will be performed in the Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, 445 South Magnolia Avenue in downtown Orlando, FL. The benefit concert will feature some of opera’s brightest national stars and musicians from throughout Florida. Internationally-renowned David Charles Abell will conduct and legendary baritone Sherrill Milnes will be one of the evening’s hosts along with Channel 13's Ybeth Bruzual. Tickets are $25-$125 and are now available at or by calling 844-513-2014.   More info HERE.  


Benefitting Organizations

Orlando Regional Medical Center is Central Florida's only Level One Trauma Center.

Not all hospitals are trauma centers, and not every emergency department can handle every emergency. A trauma center is not an emergency department. A trauma center is a state-accredited hospital facility capable of highly specialized treatment for the most critical injuries. ORMC’s Level One Trauma Center is required to have emergency medicine physicians, trauma surgeons, nurses and other medical professionals in-house 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Teams of 15 to 20 medical professionals stand ready and waiting to begin immediate lifesaving care as soon as a trauma patient arrives. In addition, a dedicated operating room is always ready, and a host of subspecialists are immediately available. Seriously injured patients who receive definitive care within the first hour after a traumatic injury have a 15 – 30 percent higher chance of survival, thus it is commonly called “The Golden Hour.” Some experts say trauma centers can also improve quality of life by as much as 85%.                                                  

The GLBT Center of Central Florida is the HUB of the Community. The Center is the largest free HIV testing agency in Central Florida and also offers STD and Hepatitis C testing also at no cost. The Center currently hosts upwards of 60 community groups including AA, NA, Alanon, The OWL Senior Program, Transgender Groups, Chat Groups, HIV Support among others. The Center was the first agency on the scene of the Pulse Tragedy and remains in the forefront of victim and family support and care services.


Proyecto Somos Orlando offers a wraparound services model that addresses the long term support, mental health, and legal services needs of the communities affected by the Pulse tragedy, at the hands of bilingual / bicultural professionals at a full service center in South Orlando. Services include case management and advocacy in securing basic human needs, legal assistance, crisis intervention, individual and group counseling and legal services at no cost to survivors. An integral component of the model is community education on gender identity, sexuality and orientation, homophobia, hate crimes and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), among others. We also support the efforts of QLatinx, a group that is providing support to and building community among the Hispanic LGBTQ+ community in Central Florida. The project is financially supported by the Hispanic Federation (HF), a national 501c3 nonprofit agency with over 25 years’ experience in capacity building for Latino led community based organizations and the empowerment of the Latino community.    


The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida is an organization dedicated to combating all forms of hate and prejudice, to building the foundation of social change through its extensive educational and cultural programs and to creating a community in which diversity is celebrated and all people feel respected. "We are grateful that One Voice Orlando has chosen to support our “UpStanders: Stand Up To Bullying Initiative.""


The Zebra Coalition® is a very unique program comprised of service groups, government agencies, social service providers, churches, corporations, middle & high schools, colleges and universities. Through the Zebra Coalition®, each of these organizations is able to aid in providing essential services for LGBT+ youth at risk or in need. The primary goal of the Zebra Coalition® is to create and sustain culturally competent programs that directly support the LGBT+ youth community throughout Central Florida. An ongoing objective is to provide youth education and faculty education to local schools pertaining to LGBT+ issues, bullying prevention and intervention. Overall, we are here to create and maintain "Safe Spaces" for LGBT+ youth to simply be who they are. 


The Interfaith Council of Central Florida seeks to create a better, more peaceful community by encouraging greater understanding of, respect for and cooperation among our region’s many faith traditions. We believe that every human has innate value and deserves to be treated justly and with dignity and respect.


Sponsoring and Supporting Businesses and Organizations

Travel and accommodations

Jet Blue has provided complimentary air travel to and from the northeast to Orlando.

Residence Inn Marriott, Orlando Downtown has provided complimentary hotel rooms for our visiting artists.

Courtyard Marriott Downtown has provided complimentary hotel rooms for our visiting artists.

Hampton Inn and Suites Orlando/Downtown South - Medical Center has provided dramatically reduced rates for our choristers and instrumentalists.

Select Specialty Hospital has generously provided funds to cover additional traveling expenses for our visiting artists

Aloft Downtown Orlando has generously provided hotel accommodations for VIP guests                                                 


Orchestra and Music               

Timucua Arts Foundation dedicated its energies and connections to put together the over 50-piece professional orchestra that will perform at the benefit concert.

Subito Music Corporation provided the orchestral, solo and choral music for the benefit’s world premiere of Paul Moravec’s "Light Shall Lift Us."

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra provided rehearsal space and other support for our orchestra and the musical parts for some selections that will be performed in the benefit concert.


Advertising and Promotions

These regional organizations and businesses have provided complementary print and broadcast promotions to help get the word out about the benefit:


The Orlando Weekly

90.7 FM WMFE

The Orlando Sentinel

Central Florida Lifestyle Magazine



Overall support and Infrastructure

United Arts of Central Florida

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

OPERA America

Opera Orlando

Original Press Release


“We’ve witnessed a remarkable outpouring of support and generosity for the victims, their families and those directly impacted by this horrific shooting,” said Gabriel Preisser, the Executive and Artistic Director of Opera Orlando. “As I spoke to fellow artists and administrators from around the country it became clear that our art form had to become a part of this effort to respond to the pain, sadness and confusion caused by the death and injury of so many innocent people. Some great individuals and organizations have stepped forward.”

Opera Orlando and its partners in this benefit concert have selected Central Florida organizations that work to build understanding of our region’s diversity and address the interpersonal challenges that many people in their community face every day. These are the GLBT Center of Central Florida, Somos Orlando, The Holocaust Center's UpStanders (stand up to bullying initiative) the Interfaith Council of Central Florida and the Zebra Coalition, which helps LGBTQ youth. But it was the Orlando Health’s Level One Trauma Center that was the impetus for the benefit concert.

“One of the main reasons we are presenting this concert is to give back to the community and recognize the men and women that responded so valiantly during this tragedy,” explained Preisser.  “The Orlando Health’s Level One Trauma Center saved many lives through their quick and effective response but their resources were severely depleted. The dollars we donate from One Voice Orlando will make a big difference. We’ll also be honoring the doctors and staff of the Trauma Center during the concert.”

Confirmed performers for September 11 include sopranos Ana Maria Martinez, Cecilia Violetta Lopez, Sarah Joy Miller; mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano; tenor Javier Abreu; and baritones Davis Gaines and Mark Walters. Opera Orlando will be joined by the Orlando Ballet and an orchestra of 66 players comprised of regional professionals. All performers are donating their services to help maximize the funds going to the beneficiaries.

To help make One Voice Orlando benefit a reality, help was needed from outside of Florida.  New York-based opera and musical theatre producer Matthew Principe and Pulitzer Prize-winning librettist Mark Campbell have helped to coordinate the on-stage talent. Campbell is also providing the lyrics for a world-premiere composition, "Light Shall Lift Us," by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Paul Moravec that will be debuted at One Voice Orlando. OPERA America, the preeminent voice of and supporting organization for opera companies in the United States, stepped forward and took the lead in including opera companies throughout Florida in the benefit concert.

“When we learned of Opera Orlando’s effort to serve the community at this important time, we were honored to help make this a demonstration of field-wide unity behind our brothers and sisters in Orlando,” stated Marc. A. Scorca, president/CEO of OPERA America. “Everyone responded enthusiastically, demonstrating our field’s commitment to strengthening bonds of understanding through opera.”

As a result of OPERA America’s work, the concert will have a choir in excess of 150 voices with contributions from Opera Orlando, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Opera Naples, St. Petersburg Opera, Opera Tampa, Sarasota Opera, and First Coast Opera.

“Because of the magnitude of this act of hatred and misunderstanding it became evident to us that a great opportunity has been presented to us in our community,” said John Wettach, President of the Board of Directors of Opera Orlando. “We want to see something great come from this.”

More info HERE.