NEW YORK - The Savannah Music Festival, an annual collection of performances that strives to cross genres, announced Wednesday that it would expand into opera for its 2015 season. The festival said that it would stage two one-act operas by Puccini - ‘Suor Angelica’ and ‘Gianni Schicchi’ - featuring the Savannah Philharmonic during the March 19-April 4 event in the southern US state of Georgia.

The festival’s reputation has been enhanced by acclaimed British violinist Daniel Hope, who has served as associate artistic director since 2004. For the 2015 season, he will curate a 10-concert series of chamber music, the festival said in an announcement.