The Making of The Medium

By Clare Burovac, General Director

Live opera production generally follows a regular pattern:  after all the guest artists arrive in New Orleans, rehearsals begin with the opportunity to sing through the entire score on the first day, followed by the start of staging rehearsals.  During the staging period, the stage director will instruct all of the soloists, chorus, and extras (“supernumeraries”) as to how they will act their role, what props to carry, when their costume change will happen, etc., all accompanied by a pianist playing the opera.  This process can generally take anywhere from a few days to two weeks, depending upon the complexity of the opera and the number of performers.  Towards the end of this period, other elements begin to be added into the mix:  a rehearsal with orchestra (called a sitzprobe), a technical rehearsal with piano onstage, a rehearsal with costumes, and finally, the dress rehearsal with all elements of the production a day or two before public performances.  Our recent production of The Medium upended all of that!

In late February, it became clear that city restrictions on the gathering sizes would not be lifted in time for us to prepare for live performances in New Orleans, so we made the decision to create a filmed version of The Medium to share with our audience.  Based on our experience filming the Opera Guild Home concert in January, and following all COVID protocols for the safety of our performers and staff, we knew that this would be a challenging project! 

One of the first decisions we had to make was where to film in order to get the best video and sound.  At this point, Set Designer Nathan Arthur had already completed his design, and the Scenic Studio had begun work constructing it.  New Orleans Opera’s Scenic Studio has a large paint floor that was an ideal area for the filming process, but the roof of the building has skylights that would prevent us from controlling the lighting for the opera.  Technical Director Keith Christopher had the ingenious idea to create a tent made out of plastic sheeting to block out the natural lighting and enable us to create the mood of the opera.

The paint floor at the H. Lloyd Hawkins Scenic Studio with the tented stage built for The Medium.

However, this space was not large enough for us to have both the singers and orchestra together; one of the most important safety considerations for live singing is the size of the space and the distance required between individuals.  Additionally, the Studio is not an ideal acoustic for capturing high quality audio.  And so we turned to our partners at Esplanade Studios to discuss possibilities for creating a recorded soundtrack.  On March 16, the Louisiana Philharmonic musicians joined our five soloists at Esplanade studios for a recording session during which we created our own soundtrack to The Medium.

Artistic Director and Conductor, Robert Lyall, rehearsing with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra at Esplanade Studios.

The artists now had the heroic task of rehearsing the acting for the opera while “lip-synching” to a recording of their own voices, a skill that no opera singer has ever had to learn!  For this opera, the task was more difficult than others might have been, particularly for Victoria Livengood in the role of Madame Flora, which has a large amount of spoken text and ad-lib utterances.  During the next four days, the soloists rehearsed in the Studio with both a live pianist and the recording, and then on Saturday, March 20, Misha Kachkachishvili and his team brought their cameras to the Studio to capture the video.  The singers did one complete run-thru of the 65-minute opera without interruption, followed by a few additional “takes” of certain scenes to make sure that we had enough footage to piece together in creating the final product.  Now, the film rests in the hands of the team at Esplanade Studios, who will be mixing the audio, choosing the video shots for each moment, and synching the audio to the video. 

The final “performance” on filming day was just as electrifying as a night in the theatre – The Medium is such a powerful and dramatic opera.  Thank you to all of the New Orleans Opera artists, staff, and crew for the creativity, flexibility, and hard work that was required in producing this film – all of whom adapted to our COVID restrictions and didn’t let them stop you from producing a beautiful work of art to share with the world.   

We can’t wait to see and hear the result of this most unusual project!


Ticket Inquiry

The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess

Friday, April 30th and Saturday, May 1


Stills from our movie of Menotti’s The Medium

A Virtual Performance

Production information here!

Spring 2021 Donor Listing

Thank you to our donors for the 2020-21 Opera Season.

New Orleans Opera gratefully acknowledges the following for their generous support.

These lists represents donations that were made from February 1, 2020.

To add your name to the roster of supporters, call Director of Development Joanna Sternberg at (504) 267-9526, visit, or send your check to the New Orleans Opera Association:

P.O. Box 52108; New Orleans, LA  70152; Attn: Development Office.

Many companies will match employee and retiree gifts – ask your employer for a matching form to submit with your check. Contributions to New Orleans Opera Association are tax deductible as allowable by law (Tax ID number 72-0272897).

We are grateful for each contribution and we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of these listings as of the posting deadline. To make a correction to your listing or if you believe you were omitted from the donor list, please call (504) 267-9526.

Spring 2021 Donor Listing

Planned Giving with New Orleans Opera

Help build the future of opera in New Orleans through your planned gift.

When you include the New Orleans Opera Association in your estate plans, you play a significant role in the continued success of top quality opera and opera education for generations to come. We are happy to assist you in identifying gift options that suit your financial and philanthropic goals – from a simple bequest in your will to a charitable trust or endowed fund. 

Planned giving makes great art possible and helps sustain the activities of the Opera Association now and into the future. We thank the current Legacy Society members and invite you to join their ranks by notifying the Development Office that you have provided for the Opera Association in your estate plans. You can also request more information about the many kinds of gift options and underwriting opportunities you may choose to support.

Planned giving instruments can include:
  • Outright charitable gifts
  • Gifts of appreciated property
  • Bequests
  • Revocable trusts
  • Life insurance
  • Retirement benefits
  • Charitable remainder trusts

Please consider joining the Legacy Society to help ensure the continued tradition of producing grand opera in America’s first city of opera.

Legacy Society Members as of January 2021

Anonymous (2)

Drs. Stephen J. & Miriam R. Bensman

Mr. & Mrs. J. Scott Chotin Jr.

Dr. Patricia Cook

Dr. Maria J. Falco

Mr. Emmet Geary Jr.

Ms. Jacqueline Mae Goldberg

Mr. Dwayne O. Littauer

Robert and Lauren Lyall

Louise and Ted Martin

Drs. Emel Songu and Ranney Mize

Dr. Andrew Orestano

Meredith Hathorn Penick

Xenia Krinitzky Roff

Alma A. Slatten

Philip & Eleanor Straub

Mrs. Norton L. Wisdom (Susan)

Ms. Debby Hirsch Wood


Bequests & Endowed Funds

Garic K. Barranger

The Estate of Abby Ray Catledge, in memory of her father Bryne Lucas Ray

Rose Annette Chisesi

Norma Jean Gross

Lois and H. Lloyd Hawkins Jr.

Albert and Rea Hendler

Gerald Kendal

Victor Leglise

The Estate of Guillermo Náñez-Falcón

Mary Nell Porter Nolan

The Theresa Bittenbring Marque & John Henry Marque Fund

Rachel Sainton

William H. Sholes

Lynette Askin Stillwell

James G. Viavant

Jerry Walker Zachary

For more information, or to add your name to this list, contact Director of Development Joanna Sternberg at (504) 267-9526. All inquiries are confidential.
Spring 2021 Donor Listing




Mr. Edward F. Martin

Mr. and Mrs. Erik F. Johnsen


Platinum Circle ($25,000+)

Jay Gulotta and Susan Talley

Meredith Hathorn & Rawley M. Penick III 

Mr. J. Robert Pope* 

Drs. Emel Songu & Ranney Mize


Gold Circle ($10,000+)
The Maestro Circle

Mrs. Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin

Drs. Nicolas & Haydee Bazan

Mr. Arthur A. Crais Jr.

Mr. Emmet Geary Jr.

Ms. Adrea D. Heebe 

Mr. and Mrs. V. Price LeBlanc Jr.

Mr. Dwayne O. Littauer

Mr. Jonathan McCall

Prof. Cynthia A. Samuel

Karen and Leopold Sher

Mrs. Catherine Burns Tremaine

Drs. Rand & Terry Voorhies

Mr. and Mrs. James Willeford

Mr. Joseph Young Jr. & Dr. Aysen Young

Jerry W. Zachary* & Henry Bernstein


Sustaining ($7,500+)

Mr. Peter R. Brigandi Jr.

Mr. Vance Ceaser

Professor Robert Force

Pauline & Allain Hardin

Mr. Donald I. Levy

Ms. Sonya Moore

Ms. Ann Owens



Mr.* and Mrs. Herschel Abbott

Ms. Jo-Ann Ciolino Adams

Doug and Mary Albert

Ms. Penny Baumer

Mrs. Betty T. Brooks

Mr. & Mrs. A. J. Capritto

Dr. & Mrs. Charles L. Dupin

Mr. Tim L. Fields

Rania and Hicham Khodr

Mrs. Louise H. Moffett

Jane & William Sizeler

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred E. Stacey IV

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Charles Stahel

Eleanor & Philip Straub


Special acknowledgement to Mr. Joseph Young Jr. for founding the Mastersigners in 1981.
Spring 2021 Donor Listing

Individual Giving



Drs. Andrea and Archie Brown

Dr. Marc Caldwell

Robin and Gary Chapman

Dr. and Mrs. Patrick J. Dowling

Prof. Ellen Frohnmeyer

John G. Turner& Jerry G. Fischer

Mr. and Mrs. James C. Landis

Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Mayer

Hon. Janis van Meerveld

Ron Scalise and Sally Richardson

Mary Ann Sternberg


Anonymous (2)

Dr. and Mrs. Robert M. Arensman

Mr. and Mrs. Dale C. Biggers

Dr. Jane Cagan and Mr. Bruce Miller

Ms. Marilyn Crilley

Dr. and Mrs. George J. Dechet

Col. Bruce Elliott

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fischer

Joan Hooper and Julian Feibelman Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Louis Freeman

Ms. Joanna Giorlando

Mr. and Mrs. Scott P. Howard

Dr. Bernard M. Jaffe

Dr. and Mrs. Klaus Kallman

Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. LeBreton III

Dr. William Long

Ms. Kathleen Manning

Mr. and Mrs. Donald P. Mitchell

Ms. Cynthia Molyneux

Mr. Max Nathan Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. Robert L. Pettit Jr.

Dr. Carolyn Clawson Prickett

Nina and Lawrence Pugh

Mr. Robert Redfearn

Mr. and Mrs. John C. Scharfenberg

Mr. and Mrs. Howard E. Sinor Jr.

Mr. Jeffrey Thede

Mr. Howard Thompson

Mr. and Mrs. Bernard van der Linden

Mrs. Katherine Vaughan


Mr. Kenneth Adatto

Ms. Evelyn Arduini

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Barkerding

Mr. N. Buckner Barkley Jr.

Dr. Michael Boucree

Mrs. Margie Breeden

George and Lee Anne Carter

Kathy and Frederick Christian

Mr. Donald M. Clement

Mrs. Mary Wilkins Costa

Ms. Karen Early

Dr. and Mrs. Juan Gershanik

Mrs. Marian Gibbs

Melissa and Bruce Gordon

Seth Harris & Julie Schwam Harris

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Hemphill

Mr. Keith Marshall and Mrs. Mildred Ball

Ms. Regina O. Matthews

Suzanne and Benjamin Motion

Ms. Julie Pfeffer

Ms. Sally E. Richards

Ms. Katherine L. Roane

Dr. and Mrs. James W. Robinson

Ms. Emilie Rhys

Ms. Beth Lee Terry

Olivier and Ghyslaine Thelin

Dr. and Mrs. Peter M. Tufton

Yvonne M. Vonderhaar

Raymond and Lisa Washington

Dr. and Mrs. Robert Weilbaecher

Mrs. Claire L. Whitehurst


Ms. Paula Armbruster

Sara P. Attaya

Tony Bentley

Ms. Cherry Bordelon

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Burovac

Ms. Georgia M. Bryant

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Canale

Mr. R. Levich and Mr. C. Chase

Loretta and Guy Corbett

Mrs. Joan Coulter

Lorraine and Chuck Cucchiara

Ms. Jill B. Fatzer

Drs. Annette and Julio Figueroa

Dr. Erin O’Sullivan-Fleming

Joan and Henry J. Folse

Dr. Mary Frances Gardner

The Estate of Guillermo Nanez-Falcon

Ms. Sharon Hayes

Ms. Deborah Henton

Mr. Arthur M. Kastler

Ms. Patricia Krebs

Drs. Fernando and Delores Leon

Dr. and Mrs. Jon W. Lowry

Mr. and Mrs. Charles L. Malachias

Michael L. Mancuso

Ms. Lynne Marsh

Carol and Stanley Marx

Karen and Frank Milanese

Mr. Malcolm Mounger

Mr. William and Dr. C. Murray

Mr. John Olinde

Mrs. Joan Oppenheim

Mr. and Mrs. Mark G. Otts

Dr. and Mrs. John T. Patterson

Gerald and Patricia Price

Ms. Carol Rausch

Mr. Anthony Rotolo

Ms. Lilian Samardzija

Ms. Sally S. Scheuermann

Dr. Janet L. Schmid

Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Sloan

Mrs. Mihoko Strong

Mr. and Mrs. Eric Wedig

Ms. Andrea J. Wilkes

Mr. Norton Wisdom


Mr. Randall Brown

Mr. Dan Carroll

Dianne and Joseph Caverly

Ms. Brittani Corbisiero

Dr. Raquel Cortina

Mr. Anthony Currera

Mr. Andrew Doran

Mr. John Downer

Ms. Patricia Dunbar Murrell

Ms. Camille Durkin

Mr. Wendell Eatherly

John and Virginia Eckholdt

Mr. & Mrs. Edward D. Edmiston

Drs. Kenneth C. & Melanie Ehrlich

Ms. Deborah Fagan

Ms. Jody Fhal

Mr. John Ford

Ms. Sarah Fuhrer

Ms. Louise Hobson

Mr. and Mrs. Brian Horowitz

Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Leake Jr.

Mr. Christian Lilje

Ms. Elizabeth Liu

Mr. and Mrs. James McCarty

Mr. James O’Rourke

Ms. Margaret Parker

Mr. Troy Poplous

Mr. and Mrs. Elliott Raisen

Mr. Stanley Schwam

Ms. Carmelite Wellman

Ms. Kathleen Williams

Dr. Lawrence and Joan Zaslow


Mr. and Mrs. Allain C. Andry III

Alison and John Ariail

Mr. Matthew Baines

Mr. John Baron

Mr. and Mrs. David L. Bergeron

Ms. Anne Bradburn

Ms. Linda B. Brassett

Bishop and Mrs. James B. Brown

Clare Burovac

Mark Klyza and Suzanne Butler

Ms. Susan Canavello

Dr. Robert J. Cangelosi

Dr. and Mrs. Michael Carey

Mr. Calvin A. Cognevich

Ms. Madelyn Collins

Ms. Judith Cooper

Dana Criswell Cruthirds

Ms. Cheryl Cummiskey

Mr. Chris Daigle

Ms. Crystal Domreis

Ms. Judith Doughty

Mr. Ronald Durnford

Mr. Jim Eddy

Ms. Deborah Fagnano

Dr. Maria J. Falco

Ms. Elaine Hymel

Betsy Fischer Martin

Dr. and Mrs. J. M. Fortino

Mr. Alan Gandolfi

Mr. J. Louis Gibbens

Mrs. Charles Goodyear

Ms. Amanda Green

Fr. Mitchell Guidry

Mr. Charles Hadley

Shirley Henderson

Ms. Lila Hogan

Ms. Sonia Kenwood

Ms. Catherine Kidd

Mr. Edwin King

Mr. Neil Kleinberg

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Kramer

Mr. Norman Krasne

Mrs. Barbara Kroeze

Jacquelyn Lothschuetz

Mrs. Carolyn McIntyre

Lynne Neitzschman

Mr. Kenneth Newburger

Eric and Erlinda Nye

Dr. and Mrs. Henry D. H. Olinde

Dr. and Mrs. Vernon Palmer

Ms. Janice Piazza

Kay Radlauer

Mr. A. Ravi P. Rau

Ms. Virginia Roddy

Mr. George Sanchez Sr.

Ms. Helen L. Schneidau

Drs. John and Sylvia Schneller

Meg and Terry Sims

Ms. Angela Speyrer

Spencer, Karen, and Avery Spicker

Ms. Joanna Sternberg

Dr. Nia K. Terezakis

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Toups

Ms. Gwendolyn Vagis

Mr. Richard Velkley

Hon. Miriam and Mr. Bruce Waltzer

Mrs. Dorothy Weisler

James Wesner

Ms. Janet Wilson

Harold Young

Spring 2021 Donor Listing

Institutional Underwriters

New Orleans Opera Association thanks our business, foundation and government partners for their recent support!

New Orleans Opera works with each business and community partner to create a sponsorship package that suits your company’s particular needs. Whether you seek opportunities to entertain your clients, corporate visibility at performances, marketing partnerships, or all of the above, New Orleans Opera can assist you. Your sponsorship supports the Opera while providing exclusive benefits and visibility for your company.


Lois and Lloyd Hawkins Jr. Foundation
Louisiana Economic Development
New Orleans Opera Endowment Fund


The Theresa Bittenbring Marque & John Henry Marque Fund
Edward F. and Louise B. Martin Family Fund
Erik F. Johnsen Family Foundation


Lois and Lloyd Hawkins Jr. Grand Opera Foundation
Freeport McMoRan Foundation Arts Fund
The Selley Foundation Fund


Bloomberg Philanthropies
City of New Orleans/ACNO
Entergy Charitable Foundation
Greater New Orleans Foundation
V. Price LeBlanc Jr. Fund
Lexus of New Orleans
Louisiana State Arts Council/Louisiana Division of the Arts
McCall Fund
Louise H. Moffett Family Foundation
Wisdom-Benjamin Foundation


An Anonymous Foundation in support of Opera on Tap-New Orleans
Ruth U. Fertel Foundation
Peoples Health


Community Works of Louisiana
Goldring Family Foundation
Jewish Endowment Foundation of Louisiana

Landis Construction Co., LLC
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and Foundation
Renaissance Publishing
Sarracenia Foundation
Van der Linden Family Foundation
Woldenberg Foundation

We gratefully acknowledge matching and in-kind gifts from the following institutions:

Booth Bricker Fund

ExxonMobil Foundation

Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Foundation

Martin Wine Cellar
MRDG Inc.*
New Orleans Museum of Art*
Shell Oil Company Foundation
Solomon Group*
Stephanie Varns, CPA
The Reily Companies*
Windsor Court Hotel*

Spring 2021 Donor Listing

Four Operas Campaign

We wish to thank the following individuals who have contributed to a special Four Operas Campaign organized by Mr. Edward F. Martin. It is because of his leadership and the contributions of these donors that we are able to present our 2020-21 season. 

Mr.* and Mrs. Herschel Abbott

Mr. Peter R. Brigandi Jr.

Mr. Mark Caldwell

Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Capritto

Mr. Vance Ceaser

Ms. Kathy Christian

Mr. Donald Clement

Mr. Arthur A. Crais Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. Charles L. Dupin

Mr. Tim Fields

Prof. Robert Force

Mr. Emmet Geary Jr.

Jay Gulotta and Susan Talley

Pauline and Allain Hardin

Ms. Adrea D. Heebe

Mr. and Mrs. Scott Howard

Mr. and Mrs. Erik F. Johnsen

Mr. and Mrs. V. Price LeBlanc Jr.

Mr. Dwayne O. Littauer

Mr. Edward F. Martin

Mr. Jonathan McCall

Drs. Emel Songu and Ranney Mize

Mrs. Louise H. Moffett

Ms. Sonya Moore

Ms. Ann Owens

Mr. Vernon Palmer

Mr. J. Robert Pope*

Nina and Lawrence Pugh

Mr. Robert Redfearn

Prof. Cynthia A. Samuel

Ron Scalise and Sally Richardson

Karen and Leopold Sher

Jane and William Sizeler

Mr. and Mrs. Harry Charles Stahel

Eleanor and Philip Straub

Mr. Howard Thompson

Mrs. Catherine Burns Tremaine

The Honorable Janis van Meerveld

Drs. Rand and Terry Voorhies

Mr. and Mrs. James Willeford

Jerry W. Zachary* and Henry Bernstein


Spring 2021 Donor Listing

Commemorative Gifts

In Loving Memory of:

Susan C. Wisdom

Mr. Norton Wisdom

Ms. Trevor Wisdom

Deirdre P. Long

Dr. William Long

Dr. Charles Rodney Smith

Spencer, Karen, and Avery Spicker

Dr. Edward Levy Jr.

Hon. and Mrs. Steven R. Plotkin

Mr. Edward F. Martin

Evelyn LeJeune

Katherine Roane        

Daniel J. Carroll Jr.

Ms. Evelyn Arduini

Mr. John Downer

Mr. Andrew Doran

Daniel Joseph Carroll, Jr. and Betty Jo Carroll Hussey

Mr. Dan Carroll

Suzanne Motion

Benjamin Motion

Louise Daspit Geary

Dwayne O. Littauer

Lois Gandolfi

Ms. Sharon Keating

Hill Carter Riddle

Mrs. Anne Riddle

Karen Kalin

Ms. Julie Condy

Phil Frohnmayer

Ellen Frohnmayer

Irene Klinger

Mr. Jim Eddy

Joan Ingram

Ms. Jean Rice

J. Robert Pope

Mrs. Carolyn McIntyre

Emmet Geary Jr.

Mrs. Barbara Kroeze

Mrs. Patricia Blair

John Harold and Olympia Eaglin Boucree

Dr. Michael Boucree  

In Honor of:

Ted Martin

Mr. Howard Thompson

Sonda Stacey

Ms. Elizabeth Liu

Ted and Sonda Stacey

Patricia Manning Sharpe

Zara Zemmels

Dr. Elizabeth Zemmels

Dr. Valerie Francis

Dr. Raquel Cortina

Mrs. John Dunlap Jr.

Alma & Bob Pettit

Mr. and Mrs. Louis Freeman

Alma & Bob Pettit

Mrs. Susan Peters

Alma & Bob Pettit

Mrs. Robert A. Schimek

Alma & Bob Pettit

Mrs. Guy Wootan

Alma & Bob Pettit

Mr. and Mrs. James Bean

Alma & Bob Pettit

John & Julia Newsham

Ms. Sally N. Inglis

Joanna Sternberg

Mary Ann Sternberg

Joan Oppenheim

Janet Wilson

Robert Lyall

Oliver Wilson-Ramos and Monty Ramos

Janet Wilson

Robert Lyall

Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. LeBreton III

Clare Burovac

Dr. and Mrs. George J. Dechet

Drs. Fernando and Delores Leon

Mr. Chris Mattaliano

Mr. Norman Krasne

Ms. Marilyn Crilley*

Mr. Robert Fischer

Mr. Jeffrey Thede

George and Lee Anne Carter

Ms. Karen Early

Mr. Matthew Baines

Clare Burovac and Chris Mattaliano

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Burovac