Before the hordes of music fans descend on the
The inaugural, one-day event, titled the Festival of the Desert, was announced Wednesday. Organizers said the festival will celebrate classical music, dance and other fine arts and will feature the luminary likes of soprano
The Festival of the Desert is being spearheaded by conductor Philippe Jordan, music director of the Paris National Opera, and Barrett Wissman, the chairman of IMG Artists. The festival, unrelated to the rock and electronic dance music event in Indio, is scheduled for March 18 at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert and the Sunnylands Center and Gardens in Rancho
Fleming will sing in the centerpiece performance, a recital at the McCallum. The soprano, who is preparing for her Broadway debut in the play "Living on Love," will be accompanied on the piano by Jordan.
The festival will also feature a gala reception featuring musical and dance programs curated by Jones and Hallberg, respectively.
In addition, the festival will feature a concert curated by Jordan and a public talk with Michael Kaiser, the former head of the
A spokeswoman for the festival said organizers hope that it will become an annual event, and that they are already planning for next year.
The lead donors for the festival are philanthropists Regina and Gregory Annenberg Weingarten. Gregory Annenberg Weingarten is vice president and director of the Annenberg Foundation and is the son of philanthropist Wallis Annenberg.
Other top supporters include Harold Matzner, the owner of Spencer's Restaurant in Palm Springs, and the Marc and Eva Stern Foundation. Marc Stern serves as board chairman of Los Angeles Opera.