Robert Lyall, General Director Emeritus

In the realms of symphony and opera, Robert Lyall has pursued an active conducting career launched as a winner of the American Symphony Orchestra League’s National Conducting Competition. This achievement brought Lyall a fellowship to the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival and the tutelage of Dr. Richard Lert. Soon after, Lyall went to Amsterdam to study with the celebrated Russian maestro, Kyril Kondrashin… Continue reading Robert Lyall, General Director Emeritus

Lauren Ashlee Messina

Lauren Ashlee Messina (Springfield, IL) holds an MFA in Dance from Belhaven University (Jackson, MS), where she studied on merit scholarship and graduated with honors from the National Honor Society for Dance Arts. Lauren received the Oprah Winfrey Foundation Scholarship Award to The Ailey School’s Professional Division Scholarship Program, where she trained in ballet, Horton,… Continue reading Lauren Ashlee Messina

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Bios for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess in Concert

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.… Continue reading Bios for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess in Concert

Bios for The Orpheum Sessions – A Night at the Opera

Jasmine Habersham, Soprano American soprano Jasmine Habersham is a versatile and dynamic performing artist whose voice has been hailed as “exquisite” by Broadway World and possessing a “well-controlled, silvery tone had an alluring presence” by Opera Today. Her 2019-2020 season included Calaveras 2 in Frida with The Atlanta Opera, and her return to Minnesota Opera as Sarah Ruth in Edward Tulane. This… Continue reading Bios for The Orpheum Sessions – A Night at the Opera

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Bios for The Medium

James Marvel, Director Internationally acclaimed stage director James Marvel was born and raised in New Orleans and made his Lincoln Center debut in 2008 with the Juilliard Opera Center. Since his professional directing debut in 1996, James has directed over 100 productions and was named Classical Singer Magazine’s “2008 – Stage Director of the Year.” Career highlights include groundbreaking new productions… Continue reading Bios for The Medium

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Kenya Lawrence Jackson

Kenya Lawrence Jackson currently serves as the Director of Music and Worship at St. Timothy United Methodist Church in Mandeville, LA where her duties include coordinating a large and diverse music program. She conducts the much anticipated, Christmas on the Northshore concerts, showcasing the talents of the 100-voice St. Timothy Choir and the Northshore Orchestra,… Continue reading Kenya Lawrence Jackson

Valerie Anne Jones Francis

Valerie Anne Jones Francis is a native of New Orleans and a proud product of the New Orleans Public School System. She is a 1979 graduate of McDonogh #35 where she studied under the capable tutelage of Mrs. Patricia Sallier Seals. She holds the B.A., M.M., and D.M.A. in Vocal Music Education/Performance from Dillard University,… Continue reading Valerie Anne Jones Francis

Frank Convit

Frank Convit described as singing with the “poignant power of a seasoned soloist” (Richard Balthazar Blog), has been captivating audiences with his rich timbre and ringing high notes. In March of 2020, Frank made his Midwest debut with Heartland Opera Theatre as Marco in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. Earlier that year, Frank also made his New… Continue reading Frank Convit