Education News

Music + Words: OPERA WORKS!

A FREE Virtual Summer Camp

Community Works and New Orleans Opera

Join us for a virtual summer camp this July that shows just how fun opera can be. Students will transform classic operas using their own stories and voices with Enrichment Instructors specialized in opera and creative writing.

July 5th – July 23rd

1 Hour a Day
Open to 4th – 8th graders in the Greater New Orleans Area
Closing with an in-person (outdoors) student showcase for family and friends

If you are interested in signing up your young person, please reach out to

Enjoy this fun video created by students at Lusher:

Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition Education News

Donald W. Wood Sr. Vocal Competition

2021-2022 Virtual Event

A collaborative effort with Loyola University of New Orleans – College of Music and Fine Arts and Preparatory Program, Newcomb Department of Music, Tulane University, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.

Any Louisiana high school Sophomore, Junior, or Senior vocalist in the academic year of 2021-2022 may apply.

Guidelines and Application:

Click here to download the Guidelines.

Click here to fill out the Application.

Please note, the deadline to participate is midnight, Monday, OCTOBER 4, 2021.

2020-2021 Opera Adult Education Education News Opera at Home


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)

Spring 2021 Lectures

Givonna Joseph

Thursday, March 4 at 7:00 pm


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. 

Brian Morgan

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.  

Sakinah Davis

Thursday, March 25 at 7:00 pm


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.

Previous Lectures

Fall 2020

2020 Education Virtual Education

Classroom Projects – Intermediate

Create an Opera Scene from Home!

We are replacing our in-class engagements with an engaging program, where the students learn about singing, opera history, and then, they create their own opera scenes at home. We will provide a step by step manual – written at a 6th grade level for accessibility – as well as an accompanied video that leads them through the project with physical and vocal exercises. The goal is to have them film their scenes at home, and then, via google classroom, they’ll send them to us. We edit these videos into one short clip and then we’ll share it back with the class for a GRAND FINALE!

Students can create scenes from the following famous operas:

  • Rigoletto
  • The Barber of Seville
  • The Pirates of Penzance
  • The Marriage of Figaro
  • The Valkyrie
  • The Magic Flute

This program can be used any way you see fit!

The instructional video is easily streamed right through our website. Educators will be provided a Google Classroom where the students will have access to the instructional PDF, and, after creation, where they will upload their own scenes at the end of the project! 

Usage fee: Based on a sliding scale

There are discounts available to qualifying schools and no school will be turned away due to lack of funds.

Please email to find out how to apply for a discount or if you have questions about your order.


2020 Education Virtual Education

Scenic Songs: Off the Stage

An online concert to enjoy with your classroom.

This is a virtual concert created to bring the joy and fun of opera and musical theater from the homes of local artists directly to the students. Most people today are likely familiar with musicals thanks to Disney and Broadway, but we’re willing to bet that the majority haven’t heard as much opera! Incorporating dance, puppetry and painting. These beautiful scenes are suggested for grades 6 and up but there are no restrictions. (45 min in length)

Scenic Songs: Off the Stage


There are discounts available to qualifying schools and no school will be turned away due to lack of funds.

Please email to find out how to apply for a discount or if you have questions about your order. Feel free to read through the study guide and once you get your password, return to this page to see the video at the link below.

Study Guide

This study guide packet will serve three purposes:

  1. It will PROVIDE all kinds of interesting information about each larger work (opera, operetta or musical), including plot and character descriptions.
  2. It will EXPLAIN our unique re-telling of the story line within each scene.
  3. It will give CONTEXT regarding the historical period of each work, and your students will also have an opportunity to learn about the composers!

Created by:

William Mouat and Taylor Ott, Project Artistic Director and Executive Editor.


Hayden Guthrie, Amanda McCarthy, Taylor Ott, Rachel Looney, Imani Sarai Francis, Mark Anthony Thomas, and Frank Convit. Click the Study Guide button above for artist bios, full program outline, and more!


Protected: Scenic Songs Video

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Adult Education Education News Opéra Nouvelle

Opéra Nouvelle: Mozart and The Garden

Join us in the Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art

November 8, 2020 at 2:00 pm


New Orleans Opera and New Orleans Museum of Art are thrilled to continue our three-year collaborative partnership with the Opéra Nouvelle series. This year’s theme is “Mozart and the Garden.” The first half of this one-hour event is a fantastical journey through Mozart’s greatest hits – Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte and, perfectly suiting the occasion, La finta giardiniera (set in a garden, about a noblewoman in disguise). During the second half, we will feature a plethora of fun-filled English songs and arias with a surprise finale from a noteworthy composer who is living in New Orleans!

  • Tickets to the concert are FREE, courtesy of New Orleans Opera, and include admission to NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden after the performance, courtesy of NOMA. See below for details on how to get your free ticket.
  • Indoor museum cost at NOMA as follows: Members are free, $15.00 adults, $10.00 seniors (65+) & active military with ID, $8.00 university students with ID and Free admission for visitors age 19 and younger courtesy of the Helis Foundation.

Opéra Nouvelle: Mozart and The Garden is directed by Dr. William Mouat, Director of Education at New Orleans Opera, and it features NOOA resident and emerging artists Rachel Looney, Zara Zemmels, Amanda McCarthy, Sakinah Davis, Valerie Francis, Mark Anthony Thomas, Frank Convit, Ivan Griffin, Dylan Trần, and Jesse Reeks.

Ticket Information

  • All of NOMA’s in-person events require prior registration due to crowd control and the Special Event Permit from the City of New Orleans.
  • Seating capacity is 100 and crowd gathering outside of the space is not permitted.

There is no rain date scheduled, if the weather forecast is not in our favor we will post cancellation here and on our social media outlets.

Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition Education News

And the Winners are…



Lauren Albano, Senior, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans, Louisiana, Instructor: Phyllis Treigle


Markus Monistere, Sophomore, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans, Louisiana, Instructor: Phyllis Treigle


Catherine Mercatante, Senior, Cabrini High School, New Orleans, Louisiana, Instructor: Elizabeth Argus


Henry Herbert, Junior, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, New Orleans, Louisiana, Instructor: Phyllis Treigle


Brooklyn Burt, Junior, New Orleans for Creative Arts, New Orleans, Louisiana, Instructor: Phyllis Treigle


Daniel Porea, Jr., Senior, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans, Louisiana, Instructor: Ivan Griffin

Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition Education News

Congratulations to the Wood Advancement Grant recipients!

Imani was the Second place female winner of the Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition (2015-2016). She was also the 2019 Fall/Winter recipient of the Wood Operatic Advancement Grant.

Lindsey received honorable mention at the Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition (2015-2016) and was also the recipient of the 2020 Spring/Summer Wood Operatic Grant.

Imani Sarai Francis, B. M. , Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music.

Imani is a proud 2020 graduate of Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music. Recently Imani was accepted to the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Music where she will pursue a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance. Her plans include studying under the very capable tutelage of Dr. Loraine Sims. Imani requests financial assistance for this upcoming school year of 2020-2021 and is very grateful to the Wood Foundation through the New Orleans Opera Association for their continuous support of her career goals and aspirations. Imani graciously writes: “This organization is truly God sent and I have been blessed by your genuine concern and generosity for me and other aspiring young artists.”

Lindsey Reynolds, a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Music degree at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Lindsey is studying under the tutelage of Julia Falkner at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also holds a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music. She is a versatile young artist and her favorite roles include Zerlina Don Giovanni, Adina L’elisir d’amore, Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Miss Wordsworth Albert Herring, and Monica The Medium. She is the recipient of many awards and accolades, including first place in the Camille Coloratura Awards: Student Division, James Toland Vocal Arts Competition: Tier 2, Junior Division of the Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera National Voice Competition, Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, and the National Association of Negro Musicians Vocal Competition.

Last summer, Ms. Reynolds was a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre Saint Louis where she was to premiere the role of Lily in Awakenings written by Tobias Picker and Aryeh Lev Stollman (Canceled due to Covid-19). This October, Lindsey is very excited to be a featured artist in Lawrence Brownlee with Friends presented by Opera Philadelphia. It is her desire to have the funds to purchase equipment needed to accommodate performing and recording in this new COVID-19 world inside her one-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia and to purchase a camera, to rent professional space to make recordings, and to hire an accompanist. She needs this equipment to create the strongest videos possible for online auditions and competitions. All Young Artist Auditions are taking place online this fall, as are competitions. The Curtis Institute of Music, the Conservatory in which she is studying online as a first-year student in their Master’s Program, is not open to students or staff. No one can access their buildings. Such a strange new world in which we are residing. Lindsey confidently writes: “I hope to come out of this a stronger singer and performer!”

Congratulations to Imani and Lindsey!

Donations to the Wood Operatic Advancement Grant help finance and cultivate young vocal talent like Imani and Lindsey, please contact Gina Klein at the New Orleans Opera Office at (504) 267-9527 or write

Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition Education News

The 2020 Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition is going VIRTUAL


All submissions will be judged with winners announced on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 10:00 a.m.
Presented by the New Orleans Opera Association in collaboration with Loyola University New Orleans, Tulane University and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.

How to participate in the Virtual 2020 Wood Competition:

  • Download and read the Guidelines and Application instructions below.
  • The Application is a fillable PDF and once you download and complete it, click the Submit button at the bottom of the form.
  • If you are unable to complete the submission process as outlined below, please print out the application, fill out out, scan it and email it to Debby Wood at woodcompetition@
  • Please note, the deadline to participate is midnight, September 8, 2020.



Click here to download a free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.

About the Competition

The Wood Competition is in its sixth 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.

All local and regional voice teachers are invited to enter their students for this contest, and the deadline for 2020 is midnight September 8, 2020. 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 guidelines and competition application above to share with others.

Created by New Orleans Opera 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.

The 2020 Judges

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.

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.

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.

Previous Winners

View the list of the competition winners by year here.

Do you have questions?

Contact Debby Wood, Wood Competition Director (504) 931-3608 or
Dr. William Mouat, Education Director (504) 267-9535 at email: