A “Sensational Success” for Menotti! (Kobbé’s Opera Book)
Plot Snapshot: A not-so-real psychic has a surprise encounter with the ‘unknown’ leading to murder and mayhem!
This opera contains adult themes of violence, abuse, and murder.
A MESSAGE TO SPRING 2021 SUBSCRIBERS: Your link to view this video is secured with your subscription and will be emailed to you on April 15, 2021. If you are not sure how to view the movie, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone will call you!
Profound thanks to those that have contributed to our 2020-2021 Season. Click here for the listings.
Premieres on YouTube April 16, 2021 at 7:30 pm CST. It will be available to purchase and view until May 15, 2021.
By arrangement with G. Schirmer, Inc., publisher and copyright owner.
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Purchase your ticket online by clicking the button above or call the Box Office at (504) 529-3000 M-F, 9:00 am – 4:30 pm.
The video premieres on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 7:30 pm and will be available for purchase and to view until May 15, 2021 for On-Demand viewing.
The link to view will be emailed on Thursday, April 15, 2021 – if you purchase after the premiere date, the link will be available in your print at home ticket that comes to you with your purchase confirmation.
Special thanks to Steven Bryant for the use of the wig worn by Victoria Livengood.
Menotti’s The Medium: A Perspective
By Robert Lyall, Artistic Director, New Orleans Opera
In spite of an impressive list of instrumental compositions—a symphony, a symphonic poem, two piano concerti, a violin concerto, a double-bass concerto, a Triple Concerto featuring three groups of three soloists, and a ballet, works written over a period of four decades, it is Gian Carlo Menotti’s operas that have endured. Not surprisingly, there are also very few symphonic or chamber works by Verdi and Puccini that have an established place in the world musical repertoire. For the Italianate musical mind, language–specifically drama–was the greatest stimulation for creativity. The same is said of the giovane scuola, (young school) of Italian opera composers who followed Verdi at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Virtually all of this “school” (Puccini, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Cilea and several others) were based at the Milan Conservatory and adhered to the operatic style known as “verismo”—drama based in everyday reality. — READ MORE
This opera contains adult themes of violence, abuse, and murder.
An additional note about the language: To many, the word ‘Gypsy’, referring to Roma people who migrated from India centuries ago, is a pejorative. The New Orleans Opera did not eliminate or change the word from the original libretto written in 1946, and you will hear it in this recording. New Orleans Opera rejects all forms of racism and sexism and rather than remove it, we encourage conversation and inclusion.
The play’s the thing, and the Bard is the best when it comes to opera and musical theater plots! This concert features music from Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate (based on The Taming of the Shrew), Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Verdi’s Falstaff, Thomas’ Hamlet, and Rodgers and Hart’s The Boys from Syracuse (based on The Comedy of Errors). Plus three musical settings of Romeo and Juliet – the famous opera by Gounod, I Capuleti ed i Montecchi by Bellini, and Bernstein’s magnificent West Side Story.
Singers Rachel Looney, Nicole Heinen, Zara Zemmels, Kameron Lopreore and Spencer Reichman are accompanied by Carol Rausch.
Travel the World – In Our Yard!
May 15, 2021
Even if your vacation plans are virtual, let us help with musical suggestions from around the globe! If you’re thinking about a classic trip to Europe, we’ve got selections from Italy, Spain, Germany and France. Something slightly more exotic? We’ll take you to Russia and the Balkans. Maybe a Caribbean cruise is more your style? Enjoy an excerpt from the West Indies. If you’re staying in the States, we’ve got music from Charleston, New England, the Big Apple and of course the Big Easy!
Singers Haley Whitney, Mary Cloud, Isabella Vanderhoof, Kameron Lopreore, Mark-Anthony Thomas, Frank Convit and Spencer Reichman, with pianist Carol Rausch.
We look forward to welcoming you at our upcoming performance!
The health and safety of our guests, performers, and staff are our top priority. While there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 in any public spaces where people are present, we hope that the following guidelines will help everyone safely enjoy the performance.
Per City and State mandates, face masks will be required for all guests and staff throughout the performance.
A trained COVID officer will be on site at all times. All guests and staff will have a contactless temperature screening upon arrival. Anyone with a fever of 100.4 or higher will not be permitted to enter the venue.
Hand sanitizer will be available upon entry and throughout the venue.
While there will be no sale of food or beverages on site, we invite our guests to bring their own drink of choice to enjoy.
Restrooms will be available during the performance. We encourage guests, however, to use the restroom before they arrive to prevent large groups from gathering in the restroom area.
Please respect social distancing guidelines throughout the performance. Signage, ground markings, and staff will help guests maintain at least a 6-foot distance from each other.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, chills, fever, sore throat, muscle pain, shortness of breath, or loss of sense of smell or taste) should stay home and contact their healthcare provider.
Any guests who are unable to adhere to the above guidelines will be asked to leave the performance. We thank you in advance for your cooperation!
In the case of a possible COVID-19 exposure at the performance, the ticket purchaser will serve as the main contact for their party.
For performances Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1, 2021
Kenneth Overton, Baritone – PORGY
2021 Grammy Award winning artist Kenneth Overton is lauded for blending his opulent baritone with magnetic, varied portrayals that seemingly “emanate from deep within body and soul.” Kenneth Overton’s symphonious baritone voice has sent him around the globe, making him one of the most sought-after opera singers of his generation. Upcoming engagements for Kenneth include his Metropolitan Opera debut as Lawyer Frazier in Porgy and Bess, a reprisal of the role of Ralph Abernathy in I Dream with Opera Carolina and Charlottesville Opera, Hailstork’s A Knee on the Neck with the National Philharmonic, and the debut of An African American Requiem with the Oregon Symphony. He will also appear in On Site Opera’s The Road We Came, an immersive and site-specific experience that explores the composers, musicians and places that define the rich Black history of New York City through a series of self-guided, musical walking tours. Last season, he made a triumphant role début of Friar Lawrence in Roméo et Juliette with Oregon Bach Festival, performing on the 150th anniversary of Berlioz’s death and conducted by the irreverent John Nelson, which critics deemed “too beautiful, too musical” not to be performed. Additionally, he returned to San Francisco Opera for Billy Budd and he appeared at Carnegie Hall for Angela Rice’s Thy Will be Done and Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem.
Kearstin Piper Brown, Soprano – BESS
In 2020, Kearstin Piper Brown previewed the lead role of Esther in Ricky Ian Gordon’s new opera Intimate Apparel at Lincoln Center Theater as part of the joint LCT and Metropolitan Opera’s New Works Program. The show will continue with its regular run in 2021-22.
She also appeared as Euridice in Opera Williamsburg’s video production of Orfeo ed Euridice, sang virtual concerts with the Gateways Music Festival and with Finger Lakes Opera, and filmed Anthony Knight’s No Cowards In Our Band with Syracuse Opera.
Pre-pandemic performances included her main stage debut with San Francisco Opera as Clara in Jake Heggie’s It’s A Wonderful Life, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Opera Williamsburg, Sarah in Ragtime with Utah Festival Opera, Epiphany Proudfoot in the world premiere of Falling Angel by Mark Scearce with the Center for Contemporary Opera, High Priestess in Aida with the Atlanta Symphony, Violetta in La traviata with Lyric Opera Utah, Musetta in La bohème with Dayton Opera, Micaëla in Carmen with Arbor Opera Theater, Clara in Porgy and Bess at the Teatro di San Carlo in Napoli (Italy), Euridice with Opera Memphis, and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Cincinnati Opera. Ms. Brown has performed her signature role Bess with numerous companies, most recently with Utah Festival Opera, Opera Kazan, Skylight Music Theatre, Dayton Opera, Virginia Opera, and the Belarusian Philharmonic Orchestra Minsk
Chauncey Packer, Tenor – SPORTIN’ LIFE
Chauncey Packer, an exciting American tenor who hails from southern Alabama, recently made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the roles of Sportin’ Life, Robbins, and Crab man in Porgy and Bess. Additional recent highlights includeMozart’s Requiem with the Colour of Music Festival, concerts with the Saint-Georges International Music Festival and the Harrisburg Symphony, Sportin’ Life with New York Harlem’s Porgy and Bess at Teatro Regio in Torino, Italy, and Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Soo Theatre Project in Michigan. He has performed with Nashville Opera, Mobile Opera, Pensacola Opera, Utah Festival Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Pacific, and New Orleans Opera in roles such as Rodolfo in La bohème, Alfredo in La traviata, Pong in Turandot, Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Sam in Susannah, Ruggero in La rondine, Dr. Blind in Die Fledermaus, Tamino in The Magic Flute, Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor, and Amon in Akhnaten. He has been seen in concert with Baton Rouge Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Signature Symphony, and Torun Symphony Orchestra, and was featured in concert at Théâtre des Champs-Élysées with the Orchestre Symphonique de la Garde républicaine benefiting the organization Women of Africa.
Donovan Singletary, Bass-baritone – CROWN
During the past two seasons, Donovan Singletary sang Jake in Porgy and Bess in productions with the Metropolitan Opera, Dutch National Opera and English National Opera, in addition to singing Crown with Grange Opera in London and Atlanta Opera, and performances of Philip Glass’ Passages with the Pacific Symphony at Carnegie Hall, and the title role in Minnesota Opera’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
Recent seasons are highlighted by his debut with Teatro alla Scala as Jake in Porgy and Bess under the baton of Alan Gilbert and the Metropolitan Opera in productions of Julius Cesare, Un ballo in maschera, Macbeth, Salome, Don Carlo, Pelléas et Mélisande, Tosca, La bohème, The Enchanted Island, The Tales of Hoffmann and The Bartered Bride, as well as performances with Seattle Opera of Zuniga in Carmen, Monterone in Rigoletto, and Jake in Porgy and Bess, where he provided “a beautiful and powerful bass-baritone.” (The Sun Break). He is a Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals Winner, where he was the youngest male competitor to ever win the competition. He also won the Met’s Joseph Volpe Award. Mr. Donovan is also a graduate of the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera and Juilliard School.
Angela Brown, Soprano – SERENA
A featured artist on the two-time Grammy Award® winning recording “Ask Your Mama,” Angela’s international reputation continues to grow. Her highly successful Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Aida captured instant attention from international print and broadcast media and catapulted Angela onto the world’s prestigious opera and symphonic stages. Headlines from The New York Times read “At last an Aida,” and CBS Weekend News proclaimed: “the future of opera has arrived!” These accolades were quickly followed by features on the front page of The New York Times, on CNN, in Oprah Magazine, Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, Classical Singer, Reader’s Digest, and Psychology Today.
Reginald Smith, Jr.’s 2020-2021 season included returns to the Atlanta Opera as Tonio in I Pagliacci (a role debut) and to the Dallas Symphony in a concert honoring the victims of racial violence and injustice. Future engagements include debuts with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Santa Fe Opera in leading roles.
Last season Mr. Smith made his much-anticipated debut at the Metropolitan Opera as Jim in Porgy and Bess, followed by Amonasro in Aida with the Houston Grand Opera and Jake in Porgy and Bess with the Atlanta Opera. His orchestral appearances included Christmas Pops Concerts with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
Prior to that, Mr. Smith, appeared as Jake in Porgy and Bess with Cincinnati Opera, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Opera Memphis, Amonasro in Aida with Opera Idaho, and returned to the rosters of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. His orchestral engagements included the baritone solo in Carmina Burana for his return to the Houston Symphony and the bass solo in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at New Jersey Symphony, West Virginia Symphony and Symphoria.
Imani Sarai Francis, Soprano – CLARA
Imani Sarai Francis is a native of New Orleans and graduated from the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) in 2016. She is very active in the community, serving as a youth counselor, assistant voice coach, and African American history teacher for Tambourine and Fan, a youth organization founded by Freedom Rider, Jerome Smith.
Imani graduated in 2020 from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee College of Music, receiving her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She has already received dozens of awards and recognition to her credit; among them, the Classical Singer Vocal Competition, Semifinalist; Red River Young Artist Competition, First Place; New Orleans Opera Youth Vocal Competition, Second Place; National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, 2014, First Place; Canto Lirico International Competition Recitalist, Trujillo, Peru, 2017; National Association of Negro Musicians, vocalist and Masterclass participant with Robert Sims and George Shirley; National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition, 2020, First Place Graduate Women’s Edition; Guest Vocalist, B-Sharp Concert Series, 2017; First Place winner in both Graduate Women and Hall Johnson Negro Spiritual divisions of the NATS Southern Region competitions.
Danielle Edinburgh Wilson, Contralto – MARIA
Danielle Edinburgh Wilson is a native of New Orleans. She received her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of New Orleans in 2013 and her Bachelor of Music degree from Xavier University of Louisiana in 2010. At the age of 2, she sang her first solo for her great-grandmother’s church program and she has been singing ever since. She has been blessed to sing around the world, performing in Spain, France, Belize, Italy and Switzerland as well as locally for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Essence Festival and performances on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. She starred as the legendary Mahalia Jackson in multiple productions of Mahalia! A Gospel Musical and released her album “Reflections of Mahalia” to pay tribute to Mahalia Jackson and her gospel legacy.
Gary Lee Randall – ACTOR
Gary Randall made his operatic debut with the New Orleans Opera Association in 1999. He sang as a chorister and performed the comprimario role of Albert in Douglas Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe. Gary took a detour from the opera stage from 1999-2020. Over that 21-year period, Gary taught high-school choir and guitar, directed music for his local church, formed and co-led two R&B/Funk bands named Chronic Soul and Delirium Residue. Chronic Soul received national attention when it appeared on the CBS Early Show’s Living Room Live…Battle of the Bands competition. Gary Randall worked as an instructor in voice, piano and guitar at the Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts from 2017-2019. After auditioning for the late, great jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis, he sang with a local jazz combo called the New Orleans Street Beats. In February 2020, Gary, returned, to the opera stage, as a chorister in the New Orleans Opera production of Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc. Mr. Randall now works full-time as the owner, artist, producer and engineer of KDOM RECORDS LLC based in New Orleans.
Live, on stage, at the Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park.
Enjoy the masterful music of George Gershwin, sung by a stellar cast, and featuring the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra – LIVE OPERA IS BACK!
A MESSAGE TO SPRING 2021 SUBSCRIBERS: You should have received a letter and an email regarding your tickets to this concert. If you did not, or you have questions, please call the Box Office at (504) 529-3000 or send an email to email@example.com.
PROFOUND THANKS TO THOSE THAT HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO OUR 2020-2021 SEASON.
This photo is from the New Orleans Opera Archives and features Chauncey Packer as Sportin’ Life.
Friday, April 30 and Saturday, May 1 @ 7:30 pm
It’s a rare event, indeed, when an arts organization announces a concert that is already sold out. But, we are all aware of the many “rare events” that have happened almost daily during the pandemic. New Orleans Opera is so very proud and thankful that we are able to continue the grand tradition of opera in our city – rarities and all – for this semi-staged production of Porgy and Bess.
This concert not only closes the 2020-2021 season; it also brings with it a new beginning: Live opera is back!
Last summer when we announced the season, we felt certain we would be back in the Mahalia Jackson Theater by this time with our sets and costumes, and we were comforted by the preparations for just that scenario. A very large portion of our Season Subscribers were, too. Their quick response of support, combined with the COVID-19 audience size restrictions currently in place, are reasons our year-end production sold out so quickly.
To those of you wishing you could attend, stay tuned: more opera is coming soon! And, to our current subscribers, thank you. We’ll see you in person at Audubon Park!
The singers and staging personnel on this production appear through the courtesy of the American Guild of Musical Artists, AFL-CIO.
Featuring the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Kurt Munstedt – Zorica Dimova
Byron Tauchi – Yaroslav Rudnytsky
Bruce Owen – Catherine Matushek
Jonathan Gerhardt – Rachel Hsieh
William Schettler – Paul Macres
H. Lloyd Hawkins Scenic Studio
Technical Director – Keith Christopher
Properties Mistress – Olivia Winter
Painter — Nathan Arthur
Carpenter – Keith Tujague
IATSE Local #39
President – Keith Christopher
Business Manager – Alan Arthur
Lighting Designer – Mandi Wood
Head Electric — Neil Ingles
Head Carpenter – William Borne
Head Properties — Amber Wolf
Head Audio — Joseph Barocco
Audio Assistant — Glenn Gandolini
IATSE Local #840
Theatrical Wardrobe Union
President – Shannon Muhleisen
Secretary/Treasurer – Lesly Davi
Business Agent – Bonnie Haase
Wardrobe – Stephanie Kuhn
Nuts and Bolts
A Pre-Show Lecture now on YouTube
In this Nuts and Bolts, Dr. Sakinah Davis of Xavier University discusses the history, music, and controversy of Gershwin’s barrier-breaking opera, Porgy and Bess. Dr. Davis’ presentation focuses on the real-life community that inspired George Gershwin and DuBose Hayword: the Gullah, a distinctive group of Black Americans from South Carolina and Georgia in the southeastern United States. Acknowledging both the celebratory and controversial aspects of this masterwork, Dr. Davis digs into the various ways that Gullah rhythms, traditions, and even specific community members appear in the opera. She also raises questions about the future of Porgy and Bess, pointing to the Spoleto 2016 production designed by Jonathan Green, an artist born and raised in a Gullah community.
The land that is now Audubon Park was acquired by the New Orleans Park Commission in 1871 and became known as “Upper City Park.” It was not until 1884, when chosen as the site for the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, that the Park received much-needed attention and appreciation.
Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park has been a central fixture in the social life of New Orleanians since the 1920s. The bandstand was named after Isidore Newman to honor his yearly donations to finance free concerts in the Park. The bandstand is a commanding presence at the edge of a lagoon. It suits both large and small gatherings, it is popular for weddings and parties, and it is used as a staging area for fundraising walks and runs. It has also hosted groups ranging from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra to elementary school choirs and was prominently featured in the Academy Award-winning movie, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”
The worldwide copyrights in the music of George and Ira Gershwin for this presentation are licensed by the Gershwin Family. GERSHWIN is a registered trademark and service mark of Gershwin Enterprises. PORGY AND BESS is a registered trademark and service mark of Porgy and Bess Enterprises.
When we got the phone call from Opera on Tap Headquarters asking to partner with their newest creation, the answer was a resounding “Yes!”
The pandemic has shuttered so many outlets that we all took for granted. World-wide, the performing arts community has experienced significant economic setbacks from Covid-19 and the effects are profound. But creativity is at the core of our industry and the innovation during the shutdown has been inspiring.
We are so happy to introduce The OPERACADE to New Orleans. Inspired by the Zoltar machine at Coney Island, it is designed to pay tribute to our many opera and classical music artists who are currently and for the foreseeable future unable to perform inside for live audiences. The OPERACADE also creates a unique public performance venue and mobile public art installation that is sure to put a smile on the faces of everyone that crosses its path.
A Partnership Between Opera on Tap and New Orleans Opera
The OPERACADE, created and designed by Opera on Tap HQ is being built here in New Orleans at the H. Lloyd Hawkins Scenic Studio. The prototype is complete with more coming soon!
To read more about the project visit the Opera on Tap website here and then stay tuned! There is more on the horizon for The OPERACADE.
New Orleans Opera and The Broadside Theater present:
La Traviata, A Franco Zeffirelli Film
Join us at the Broadside for Verdi’s La Traviata and a pre-movie concert at featuring New Orleans Opera singers. The concert starts at 7:00 pm followed by the movie at 7:30 pm.
The Broadside is the sister business of The Broad Theater and is located at 600 N. Broad St., New Orleans, LA 70119. It’s an open air venue with a full bar, hot dogs and popcorn! They are following all Covid-19 safety rules (masks required). The seats are paired and safely distanced.
La Traviata is a 1982 Italian film written, designed, and directed by Franco Zeffirelli. It is based on the opera La traviata with music by Giuseppe Verdi and libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. The film premiered in Italy in 1982 and opened in theatres in the U.S. on April 22, 1983.
The score is conducted by James Levine, featuring the Metropolitan Opera orchestra and chorus.The film was eventually nominated for a pair of Oscars (Art Direction and Costume Design) and it arguably remains the finest film version of an opera ever made.
A virtual concert featuring French and Italian operatic masterpieces, including selections from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers.
Profound thanks to those that have contributed to our 2020-2021 Season. Click here for the listings.
Premieres Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7:00 pm
A Message to Subscribers:
Your link to view this concert is secured with your subscription and will be emailed to you on April 9, 2021 from the LPO. If you do not receive the link, please check your spam folder. The performance is hosted on Vimeo, but you do not need a Vimeo account to watch the performance. Click here for digital access help from the LPO.
An Adult Education Lecture Series – Thursdays, 7:00 pm on Zoom
ALLONS: Adventurous Lectures for Lovers of Opera Now Streaming!
Our new series that began last Fall, “ALLONS!” is returning! For the opera company, it’s a fun title with a double meaning: the English translation of the French title is “Let’s Go!” and it’s also an acronym for Adventurous Lectures for Lovers of Opera Now Streaming. General Director Clare Burovac hosts this series of four lectures, all of which will be presented on Zoom and led by New Orleans opera scholars.
LECTURER, DATE, and TOPIC (details below):
Givonna Joseph, Thursday, March 4 at 7:00 pm: MARIAN ANDERSON
Brian Morgan, Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 pm: NORMAN TREIGLE
Sakinah Davis, Thursday, March 25 at 7:00 pm: FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES
Wilfred Delphin, Dan Shore, and Dara Rahming, Thursday, April 8 (New Date) at 7:00 pm: FREEDOM RIDE
Get Yours Now!
Tickets: $12.00 Student price: $5.00 (Select from the drop down menu after adding the regular price ticket to your cart)
Celebrated contralto Marian Anderson is widely regarded as one of the finest operatic voices of her time, breaking barriers for opera singers of color across the United States. Her famous performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, was a historic moment, leading to her debut as the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. Givonna Joseph, co-founder of OperaCréole, shares Ms. Anderson’s legacy with an overview of her work and music.
Thursday, March 11 at 7:00 pm
Biographer Brian Morgan joins us to discuss the life and career of New Orleans native Norman Treigle, the great operatic bass-baritone, as well as an overview of operatic life in New Orleans during the middle of the twentieth century. Mr. Morgan’s research into Mr. Treigle’s too-brief life is the only in-depth accounting of the singer who was acclaimed as one of history’s finest singing actors.
Thursday, March 25 at 7:00 pm
FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES
Fire Shut Up in My Bones is the 2014 novel by Louisianian Charles Blow, telling the story of his coming of age as a young Black man in the Deep South. Louisiana jazz composer, Terence Blanchard, chose this memoir as the subject of his second opera, which premiered at Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 2019 and will become the first opera composed by a Black musician to be presented on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Dr. Sakinah Davis, Assistant Professor of Voice and Director of Opera Workshop at Xavier University, will explore the composition, Mr. Blanchard’s music, and this opera’s place in operatic history.
Wilfred Delphin, Dan Shore, and Dara Rahming
Thursday, April 8 at 7:00 pm
On May 15, 1961, a group of civil rights activists known as Freedom Riders were flown to New Orleans after having been violently attacked in Alabama. Upon their arrival they were hidden away on Xavier University’s campus by Dr. Norman C. Francis, a secret so dangerous, it was not revealed until many years later. This lecture is led by Dr. Wilfred Delphin, Artist in Residence at Xavier University with Dr. Dan Shore, composer of the opera Freedom Ride, and Dara Rahming, former faculty member at Xavier and the singer for whom the title role was written. Join them as they discuss the events of 1961, how the Freedom Riders successfully desegregated interstate travel in the South, and the opera that was born from that tumultuous period.
Wednesday, April 7, 2021 | 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm on Zoom
OPERA America, the national champion for American opera, is crisscrossing the country on a virtual road trip to its member companies. President/CEO Marc A. Scorca will visit New Orleans Opera to lead a presentation about the progress of opera in the country — from French opera in New Orleans to filmed opera online. He will highlight the achievements of New Orleans Opera and how they enrich the national opera landscape.
Free and open to all!
RSVP below by April 6 to receive your link to attend this interactive presentation from President/CEO Marc A. Scorca on the origins and future of opera in the United States – and the role of New Orleans Opera in the landscape of American opera.
New Orleans Opera is a proud founding member of Opera America
OPERA America is the national membership organization for artists, administrators, trustees, and audiences, dedicated to supporting the creation, presentation, and enjoyment of opera. Based in New York City at the National Opera Center, a custom-built rehearsal and performance facility for the opera field, OPERA America is committed to advancing new work, audience engagement, civic practice, artist and leadership development, research, national advocacy, and an inclusive industry that moves opera forward in America.
Join the Sylvain Society Friday, February 19th at 6:00 pm for a free virtual event, a Night with the Black Opera Alliance. In celebration of Black History Month, Sylvain Society is proud to host their February event in partnership with The Black Opera Alliance. The interview will be conducted by Sylvain Co-Chair Bianca Spears, LMSW. In attendance will be Jayme Alilaw, Pamela Jones, and Garrett McQueen representing the Black Opera Alliance. Attendance is free and open to the general public.
Jayme Alilaw is an Army veteran, mother, and creator of many passions who engages the world as an opera singer, coach, content creator, educator, and advocate. Currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, Jayme is committed to elevating the voices of Black creators, producing performance art such as La Femme Noire: The Celebrated Womxn, a celebration of the contributions of African American womxn as composers, poets, and singers, as well as Tapestry: A Historical Journey Through Song, an interactive workshop performance commissioned by The Atlanta Opera for grades K-8 that explores the origins of Spirituals and Freedom Songs and the musical and literary elements that comprise them.
Two-time winner of the National Opera Association Vocal Competition Legacy Award, lyric coloratura soprano Pamela Jones has been a soloist with New York City Opera, Royal Danish Theatre, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival (USA), American Spiritual Ensemble, L’Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte Trinité (Haiti), Philadelphia Chamber Chorus, Mostly Mozart Festival, American Symphony Orchestra, Trilogy: An Opera Company, Lighthouse Opera Company, Arch Angel Productions, Ember Ensemble, and the Dundalk (Ireland) International Drama Festival, where she won the Best Supporting Actress Award. She earned her master’s degree in Voice Performance from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.
Garrett McQueen spent the first decade of his career working as a professional bassoonist with orchestras including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, and many others. Driven to change the aural definitions connected to “classical” music, Garrett left the stage in 2016, and now works as a content creator and digital producer, with projects including the nationally-syndicated radio program, “The Sound of 13”, and the weekly TRILLOQUY podcast.
The mission of the Black Opera Alliance is to empower Black classical artists and administrators by exposing systems of racial inequity and under-representation of the African diaspora in all facets of the industry and challenging institutions to implement drastic reform.
More information on the Black Opera Alliance here.
Sylvain Society is the young professionals affiliate group of the New Orleans Opera Association. Established in 2017, our purpose is to connect the operatic arts to the Greater New Orleans community.