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Film Festival presents ‘Great Voices Sing John Denver’ encore April 1


Thursday, April 1 the Sedona International Film Festival will host the big screen encore of “Great Voices Sing John Denver.”

Thursday, April 1 the Sedona International Film Festival will host the big screen encore of “Great Voices Sing John Denver.”


Originally Published: March 23, 2021 9:41 a.m.

A beloved festival favorite returns to Sedona on Thursday, April 1 when the Sedona International Film Festival celebrates the nine-year anniversary of its Mary D. Fisher Theatre by hosting the big screen encore of “Great Voices Sing John Denver.”

There will be two shows at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. All tickets are only $9 each in honor of this special nine-year anniversary celebration.

“We are honored to bring back this must-see musical event for John Denver fans! It was such a hit when it debuted to a rousing standing ovation at our festival and when it played at our Mary D. Fisher Theatre,” said festival director Patrick Schweiss. “This special encore is our way of saying thank you to all of Sedona and the Verde Valley for supporting our theatre, our festival and all of our events.”

John Denver and opera fans alike have something to look forward to as we go behind the scenes of the creation of the CD called “Great Voices Sing John Denver.”

Legendary music producer, Milton Okun along with arranger and conductor Lee Holdridge, bring some of the most famous names in opera to sing John Denver’s famous hit songs.

John Denver, one of the world’s best known and best-loved performers, died tragically in a plane crash in October 1997. But his music lives on. In “Great Voices Sing John Denver,” the world’s greatest opera singers pay homage to his work with such songs as Leaving on a Jet Plane, Sunshine on my Shoulders, This Old Guitar, Calypso and Annie’s Song. They explain what drew them to Denver and to the particular songs they perform.

Featured artists include Placido Domingo, Danielle de Niese, Matthew Polenzani (singing in English and Italian) Patricia Racette, Rene Pape, Nathan Gunn, Dolora Zajick, Thomas Hampson, Rod Gilfry, Denyce Graves, Shenyang (singing in English and Mandarian) Daniel Montenegro, Placido Domingo Jr., Stuart Skelton and Barbara Padilla.

The film shows that there are no barriers, neither by country, nor by style when it comes to this memorable music.

Plácido Domingo sings “Perhaps Love” in a duet with his son Plácido Domingo Jr. He sang it originally more than 30 years ago with John Denver himself. “Rerecording this song with my son takes me back to a wonderful moment in my life,” he says.

The idea for this collaborative effort came from Rosemary, the wife of music producer Milton Okun. It was a happy joining of his two professional loves: John Denver — whom he represented for 40 years — and his work and friendship with the world’s great opera singers.

In addition to being a major audience hit at the Sedona International Film Festival, “Great Voices Sing John Denver” won the Spirit of Independents special jury award at the Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival as well as Best Producer of a Documentary and Best Music in Film at the Madrid International Film Festival. It was also selected at the Newport Beach Film Festival, Beverly Hills Film Festival and Lucerne International Film Festival.

“Great Voices Sing John Denver” will be shown at the Mary D. Fisher Theatre on one day only: Thursday, April 1 at 1 and 7 p.m.

All tickets are only $9 for this special 9-year anniversary celebration. Tickets are available in advance at the Sedona International Film Festival office or by calling 928-282-1177 or online at SedonaFilmFestival.org.

Both the theatre and film festival office are located at 2030 W. Hwy. 89A, in West Sedona.