October 22, 2020 – Parlez-moi d’amour: Love at First Sight in Romantic French Opera:
The first lecture in the series features guest presenter Amy Pfrimmer, voice faculty member and director of opera at Tulane University. Amy was, in fact, recently seen in the role of Juno in the NOOA Opéra Comique, Orpheus in the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach.From Georges Bizet’s Carmen to Jules Massenet’s Manon and Samson and Delilah by Camille Saint-Saëns, Professor Pfrimmer will focus on the Femmes Fatales of this golden age of French opera.
October 29, 2020 – Mozart Operas and the Enlightenment:
Dr. William Mouat discusses W.A. Mozart and his last, great operas. From the 1786 Le Nozze di Figaro, which strikes at the very heart of the dreadful Droit du seigneur tradition, to the 1787 Don Giovanni, which sends a warning to all rakes and miscreants, to the 1790 Così fan tutte, which explores young love, we will unpack the famous Italian Trio. As a pièce de résistance, we will examine Mozart’s final operatic comedy and Singspiel, the 1791 Die Zauberflöte, translated into English as The Magic Flute.
November 5, 2020 – Origins and Evolution of the Rescue Opera:
From Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fidelio to Carl Maria von Weber’s Der Freischütz toRichard Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländer, guest presenter, conductor, and collaborative pianist Michael Borowitz will discuss the various historic, social and artistic reasons that rescue operas came into being. Michael Borowitz is Associate Professor of Opera at LSU, and he works with New Orleans Opera on a regular basis. A seasoned and nationally renowned conductor, coach and pianist, Michael is also the artistic and musical director of Opera Louisiane, our Capitol City’s opera organization.
November 12, 2020 – When and where is it appropriate and effective to update an opera “classic”?
This topic asks a question that is frequently faced by modern opera companies, especially in the wake of a fluctuating world economy, and the paucity of donors and sponsors in the arts. By the time a great deal of money is spent on orchestras, singers, costumes and artistic direction, budgets are often strained and company managers must make the decision to update certain productions. Here, Dr. Sakinah Davis, Chair of Vocal Studies and Director of Opera at Xavier University will tell us the best ways to do this, and she’ll cite her personal experience with this topic of discussion.
November 19, 2020 – Cultural Appropriation in Madama Butterfly and Porgy and Bess:
This is a subject that is applicable to our contemporary world as we delve into Giacomo Puccini and George Gershwin’s masterpieces. Dr. Valerie Francis, Associate Professor of Voice at Nicholls State Uniiversity – having performed the roles of Cio Cio San as well as Bess – is uniquely qualified to relate her revelations and discoveries about these roles, and the performance history and traditions of these operas.