Press Release June 4, 2005
For immediate release                                Contact: Robert Battaile 707-965-1455                               


      The singing and dancing elves featured in the recently produced local movie "SANTA AND SONS & daughter!" are heading to Japan to sing in the opening ceremonies of the 2005 World Exposition on June 20th in Nagoya. The elves, also known as VOENA (Voices of Eve and Angels) are a choral group made up of young people throughout the California North Bay area.
      Instead of rehearsing in Napa one Tuesday evening in March of 2004, the entire group and their "elf moms" went to audition for "SANTA AND SONS & daughter!" a movie musical that introduces Santa's family, teleportation devices, a talking Anti-gravity sleigh and 9 original songs.
      In fact one of the VOENA moms, Linda Fischer was cast as Mrs. Claus. Linda is a fashion models who is regularly on the runways in Los Angeles and New York. Her daughter, Lilly is a blue-skinned elf in the show. "I never knew helping someone learn a song in Japanese was going to be so hard," mom says.
      This dedication to a higher standard is just part of the norm for Annabelle Cruz, their fearless director. Annabelle, formerly a member of Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks, also appears in the movie leading some of the singers during Mrs. Claus' Pep Rally for the Elves. The scene was shot in Daryl Sattui's magnificent castle, Villa Amarosa.  "We are thrilled to represent the United States on this day and to add our voices to the world harmony," adds Cruz. 

     "That first audition was a magical event. About half the eventual cast was there along with an incredible group of kids, and some talented parents," says Robert Battaile, who Directed and Produced. Battaile is President of Calexas, Inc., a video production company in Napa Valley and San Francisco.

     "These kids are hard workers and amazing singers. Japan is in for a treat."
One elf in particular, Holly Stell sang an operatic piece and hypnotized the audition crowd. "I was so taken that I re-wrote one scene to include her as an angelic sprite singing part of a tender lullaby." Stell sang with Andrea Bocelli on his NBC Christmas Special last year. She has just finished recording her own cd that includes some of her fellow Voenans.
      Another Voena elf to win a major role was Michael Caldwell who was cast as Silvin, named after Battaile's 8-year old son when the show was originally written nearly twenty-five years ago. "Michael did a great job in a tough part under difficult conditions." In the movie, Michael plays Silvin, the son of Zwerkin, a single dad who invents a Teleportation Device that helps Santa get into houses without chimneys, a Tele-Santa Game and just happens to fall in love with Santa's daughter, Sandy.
      In 2004, the real life Silvin Morgan did an outstanding job as the Santa movie's Director of Photography. He is also a partner in Calexas, Inc. and a grad of the Art Academy in San Francisco. 

     "SANTA AND SONS & daughter!" is an independent movie musical shot in the Napa Valley. The cast came from as far away as Sacramento, San Francisco, Benicia and Pope Valley. A genuine community effort, in addition to receiving part of their normal retail rates, cast and crew, including two non-profit arts groups, and local vendors earned equity in the show.

     "If the revenues create a small endowment that helps music and theater arts, then I think it's great for everyone," says Battaile.

For movie clips, songs and photo galleries, please visit

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