An Homage to Josephine Baker

January 6, 7, 8, 2022, at 7:30 PM and January 9, 2022, at 2:30 PM

At the Marigny Opera House

On April 8, 1975, Josephine Baker took the stage for the last time before a packed audience of fans and celebrities in Paris, performing a revue that extolled her own five-decade career in spectacular fashion. Just four days later she would pass away.

Cipullo’s single-scene, one-act opera imagines a backstage moment with Josephine Baker before this final, exultant performance. She explains the soaring highs and the devastating lows of her life to an unseen journalist, the scene made especially poignant by our knowledge that this impending performance will be her last.

JOSEPHINE the ballet, directly following JOSEPHINE the opera, will feature five dancers from the Marigny Opera Ballet, including Lauren Ashlee Messina, who will choreograph the piece and star as Josephine Baker. The new ballet is a recreation of a Parisian revue circa 1925, and will include six songs of the period, which will be mastered into a soundtrack by New Orleans jazz great Lawrence Sieberth. 

JOSEPHINE the opera 

Music and Libretto by THOMAS CIPULLO 

Directed by LAUREN TURNER 

Conducted by JERI LYNNE JOHNSON 

Josephine – LAQUITA MITCHELL 

THE LOUISIANA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA 

Sung in English with English supertitles

JOSEPHINE the world premiere ballet 

Choreographed by LAUREN ASHLEE MESSINA 

Music by LAWRENCE SIEBERTH 

Josephine – LAUREN ASHLEE MESSINA 

Opera Running Time: 35 MINUTES | Ballet Running Time: 25 MINUTES (no intermission)

Biographies

An Homage to Josephine Baker

LAQUITA MITCHELL

Josephine (Opera)

LAUREN ASHLEE MESSINA

Josephine & Choreographer (Ballet)

TOM CIPULLO

Composer & Librettist (Opera)

LAUREN TURNER

Director (Opera)

LAWRENCE SIEBERTH

Music (Ballet)

JERI LYNNE MITCHELL

Conductor (Opera)

Songs by Tom Cipullo