Donald W. Wood, Sr Vocal Competition

  • Saturday, October 26, 2019
  • 1:00 p.m.
  • Freda Lupin Memorial Hall at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts at 2800 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70117. 

The Wood Competition is in its fifth year as a significant young artist entry vehicle into the professional realm of singing.  Past participants have enjoyed regional, national and international celebrity as young artist professionals. The competition is a collaborative effort between the New Orleans Opera Association, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Tulane University, and Loyola University New Orleans.

Applications for the 5th Annual Wood Vocal Competition are now LIVE!

Click Here for an Informational Flier

Guidelines and Information for the 2019-2020 Wood Competition

Click Here for Student Application Form

All local and regional voice teachers are invited to enter their students for this contest, and the deadline is Midnight, Tuesday, September 10, 2019.  From the pool of applicants, a selection of approximately 25 high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors will be chosen by the New Orleans Opera Association to sing in the competition.  Two first-place winners (male and female) will be awarded $1,000 each; two second-place winners (male and female) will receive $500 each. Please download the informational flier and competition application to share with others.

Check-in will be at 12:30 p.m. on October 26, 2019, with the competition beginning promptly at 1:00 p.m. The Donald W. Wood, Jr. Competition is free and open to the public and should end by 5:00 p.m.


Founded in 2015, The Donald W. Wood Sr. Vocal Competition (Wood Competition) is a collaboration between the New Orleans Opera Association, Loyola University New Orleans College of Music and Fine Arts, Tulane University Department of Music, and New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. The contest is open to all Louisiana high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The Wood Competition promotes artistic excellence, provides financial support to young vocalists, and encourages young local singers in vocal music.

Created by board member Debby Hirsch Wood in honor of her late husband Donald W. Wood Sr., the Wood family has granted funding for the competition to continue in perpetuity in his name. Donald Wood Sr. loved opera and was supportive of NOOA’s educational endeavors.

Pictured above, left to right: Dade Michael Dufrene, Olivia Belle Gray, Julian Maccrea Revell,Debby Hirsch Wood, Sarah-Katherine McCallum,  Ashton Louis Stephens,  Andrew David Aceves, Lauren A. Albano, Kieva Ja’Lisa Banks. Photo credit: Thomas Grosscup at Nunemaker Hall at Loyola University, Sunday, October 21, 2018

Student Night Out

Carmen – October 2, 7pm- Mahalia Jackson Theater

Joan of Arc – February 5, 7pm – Mahalia Jackson Theater

The Magic Flute – April 29, 7pm – Mahalia Jackson Theater

Through the generous support of our sponsors, we are able to provide FREE tickets to our fully staged dress rehearsals to area students! Please fill out this form to request Student Night Out tickets for your school group or community-based organization. We are able to provide one (1) free chaperone ticket for every five (5) students confirmed attending.

Please note:

  • Our Preview Performances are funded in part by foundation and corporate grants, many of which stipulate certain criteria when they are awarded.  One of the primary stipulations is that the funds be applied to the cost of providing students with an opera experience.  Because of that stipulation, we try maximize the number of students attending these performances.
  • Therefore, we must ask you to limit the number of adults in your group to one per 5 children. You will note that the tickets are color coded and contain a barcode so that we may monitor this information. Adults will be admitted only if they have an orange ticket. Students – Blue or Green If your student participation is less than you anticipated, then your chaperone number should decrease, as well.
  • Please order only the number of tickets you actually need at the time of the order.
    If you need additional tickets closer to the date, just send in a second order.  This helps assure us that there will be fewer unused tickets.  Tickets returned on the evening of the student preview cannot be re-issued and this means that another individual may not be able to attend.
  • We reserve the right to reduce the number of tickets ordered if the school is found to have over-ordered tickets in the past. 
  • Note: Please print & distribute your tickets, the Box Office is not staffed to perform this function at the performance.

Please enter the information requested and either email your ticket request to or fax it to us at 504-529-7668.

PLEASE DO NOT CALL IN YOUR ORDER. Use this form to order tickets/make changes, etc.

2019 – 2020 Opéra Nouvelle Schedule

September 6, 2019-–7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Carmen and Late 19th Century French Opera: Friday Nights at NOMA!

October 20, 2019 —3:00 p.m. Sculpture Gardens Mixed-Media Concert at NOMA.

January 16, 2020—6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Joan of Arc, Une femme pour les âges: Ogden Museum After Hours!

March 1, 2020—3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Opera Americana and Music to Lift the Spirit: Temple Sinai!

April 7, 2020—7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The Star-Blazing Queen, The Magic Flute and Hubble Telescope Images: SECOND ANNUAL Deutsches Haus Kulturabend!

April 18, 2020 — Characters from The Magic Flute at NOMA’s Sculpture Garden

Innovative Connections in 2019-2020 include the literary figure of Carmen, along with the historical figure of Joan of Arc that allows our audiences to witness two women of power. Carmen – originally a creation by Prosper Merimée – is a freedom-loving gypsy who follows her true nature even unto death, as does the real-life Joan of Arc, who was burned at the stake for her leadership and her convictions.  The Temple Sinai concert will feature predominant American composers of opera who were (and are) influenced by jazz and musical theatre legends like Charlie Parker, whose life will be the centerpiece of our early April 2020 opera, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird. Our final offering will be a continuation of the celebration of Austrian composer Mozart and Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) with stunning visual images from the Hubble Telescope in a spectacular feast for the senses!

Guest Speakers and Artists

Join our roster of guest speakers, musicians, and singers, each with a unique perspective on the upcoming operas!

For More Information, Contact:

William Manning Mouat

Director of Education

Phone: 504.267.9535


School Performances

We offer a variety of performances for your school or educational center and can create custom performances and programming as needed.

September through May – bookings dependent on artists’ availability


Opéra Creole Artistic Director Givonna Joseph’s engaging program for grades PK through 12 is designed for piano and voice.  A solo performer will explore a kaleidoscope of African and African-American songs, storytelling, poetry, and spirituals. The program also includes selections from both the Broadway stage and opera. This program is also suitable for adult audiences.

GOALS: A Celebration in Song exposes children and adults to the rich cultural heritage and music of New Orleans and beyond.  It is typically presented as a supplement to the black history month curriculum content for elementary and secondary students.

Hansel and Gretel – Grades Pre-K – 5 & Family groups

Our delightful adaptation of this classic favorite for grades PK – 5 introduced thousands of children to opera and continues to enchant new audiences. The fully staged and costumed reenactment of the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale is a perennial favorite.

GOALS: This 50 minute piece is adapted from the Engelbert Humperdinck opera of the same title, and artists are available for a live question and answer session immediately following the performance.  The opera parallels the storyline of the original folk story, which serves an important literacy connection for the targeted grades.

Little Red Riding Hood – Grades Pre-K – 6/Family groups

This fully-staged and costumed touring opera, is designed for grades PK- 6 schoolchildren and also contains humor that parents and teachers will appreciate. The Wolf, the Woodsman, Mother and Grandmother are hilarious re-creations of the classic storybook characters. The title character is wise beyond her years and has a LOT of surprises in store for the not-so-wily wolf.

GOALS: This 44 minute piece was composed for elementary students and artists are available for a live question and answer session immediately following the performance.  The “safety first” aspect of the storyline, which emphasizes that children should not speak to strangers, is instructive and valuable – especially for younger elementary grades – yet it does not detract from the comedy and musical variety!

School Programming

We offer a variety of educational programs for your school or learning center and create custom curriculum as needed and programs are available for booking from September through May.


We offer students in middle and high school the opportunity to build operas from traditional or original storylines. These are based upon original plays that are written and performed by students or other dramatic or popular literature. The sky is the limit! This program is most suitable for grades 6-12.

GOALS: Build An Opera gives students the opportunity to add musical subtext and original melodies to pre-prepared theatrical presentations.  Students acquire confidence in public speaking, as they enhance and augment their performance capabilities.


We give students in grades 3 through 5 the opportunity to add poetry-slam components and hip-hop moves to operatic and musical theater works. Hip-Hopera is a process-oriented class that combines song, story and choreography; thus sessions typically range from three to five weeks. The program includes a performance component at the end of the workshops, and the performance will be presented for peers, parents, teachers and administrators.

GOALS:  Within a contemporary and popular artistic medium, students gain social skills and performing confidence in music and dance.


Students in grades 4 through 6 are given the opportunity to prepare and perform opera and dance excerpts within specific multi-cultural situations and contexts.  Current programs include the Habanera for marimbas and voice as well as Caribbean music in modern jazz folk songs.

GOALS:  This program is based upon specialized curriculum designs in geography, social studies and histories of non-Western cultures. Musical and dance components with voices and indigenous instruments of the respective cultures comprise the culminating class exercise.


Advanced High School voice and choral students, grades 9-12 sing individual (solo) selections which are coached by our guest artists and staff.

GOALS:  Students explore the stylistic nuances and performance practices based upon pre-prepared vocal selections.  This is especially useful for students who are preparing selections for contests, collegiate auditions, recitals, opera or musical theater roles, or summer programs.


We offer musicology (music-history) master classes for high school students (grades 9-12) with a five day-seminar series.  Students gain a historical perspective to further their understanding of the opera they will attend for individual Student Night Out Performances. The cost for the five-day seminar is $250.00.

GOALS:  This program is specifically designed to create historical, cultural and musical context for Student Night Out performances. This allows the students who attend the performances to gain a comprehensive understanding of geopolitical and/or sociological events that occurred during the opera composer’s lifetime. We also explore specific musical genres and artistic trends that occurred during the time-frame of the opera.