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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
Monday/Wednesday/Friday
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 theopera@neworleansopera.org.

Enjoy this fun video created by students at Lusher:

Categories
News

New Orleans Opera Blog – June 2021

This summer New Orleans Opera staff members tackle the Proust Questionnaire (kinda) by way of Vanity Fair with our own operatic flair:

Sarah McCall, Director of Production

Sarah pictured here with her oldest son in 2017.

Describe your job in 25 words or less: I connect all the pieces of a production so the show can happen. It’s managing lots of details, both small and large.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? It’s around 9pm in the summer on the porch at my parents’ farm in Kentucky. All of the kids are asleep, the sun is setting, and the lightning bugs are glowing.

What is your greatest fear? Not seeing my children grow up

Which living person do you most admire? Barack Obama

Which historical figure do you most identify with? I don’t know if she qualifies as historical just yet, but I have to say Michelle Obama. In reading her autobiography, I was able to relate to her in so many ways–leaving the legal profession to fulfill a passion in a new career; trying to be a good mom while achieving professional goals.

Who is your favorite composer? Shostakovich

Which opera did you see first? Carmen

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Temperance

What is your greatest extravagance? Wine and pedicures

When and where were you happiest? Here, now, today. I have an amazing family and a career that I love.

Which opera character would you most like to have dinner with? Sister Helen

What talent would you most like to have? I would like to learn classical guitar.

What is it that you most dislike? Lack of curiosity and the inability to empathize

Who are your favorite writers? The Brontës; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Susan Choi; Ian McEwan; Haruki Murakami; Jane Austen

What is your most treasured possession? My great-grandfather’s fiddle

Chamber opera or Grand opera? Both

Contemporary or Classic opera? Both

Categories
News Sylvain

Big Wig Ball

Sylvain Society to Host Fifth Annual Big Wig Ball

July 9, 2021, 7:00 – 10:00 PM at Artmazing Gallery

Join us! A Soirée to Raise Funds for New Orleans Opera Education Programs

Tickets start at $40.00

Must be 21 or older to purchase tickets and attend.

Cabaret Soirée

Big Wig Ball Chair, Cree Merriman Jourdain

While the ball was delayed this year, we will still celebrate with the usual exuberance of glitter and wigs all in support of opera education. The funds from this event support opera education programs for the Greater New Orleans area through the New Orleans Opera Association’s Education Department. We are very excited that we were able to hold the ball last year, which provided funds for the educational programming to be conducted virtually at a great time of need to local students. We are even more thrilled that we will be able to continue the tradition this year, as times like these show how important music education is to students and musicians.

Theme

The theme of Cabaret Soirée is loosely based on Moulin Rouge in support of the upcoming opera production La Bohème in April 2022. Wigs and costume or cocktail attire inspired by the theme are encouraged. A panel of judges will select their favorite wig-wearing guests, then choose who will be crowned the “Big Wig 2021”. Along with food and libations provided by stellar local sponsors, guests will have access to the Artmazing Gallery installation for photo ops. 

Details

  • Friday, July 9th
  • 7:00 – 10:00 p.m
  • Artmazing Gallery (309 Decatur St. New Orleans, LA 70130)

Big Wig Ball

Since 2017, the Big Wig Ball events have raised more than $28,000 in funding to directly support programming costs for Student Night Out performances and other education programs. Each year, the Student Night Out performances introduce more than 2,000 local K-12 students to the operatic arts when students and chaperones attend opera productions at Mahalia Jackson Theater. This year, the pandemic presented hurdles that the Education Department tackled with ease; they were able to quickly switch in-school activities to virtual educational programs for students.

Follow us!

  • @nolabigwig
  • @sylvainsociety

Sponsorship Opportunities

$200 Big Wig Krewe Second Line Sponsor
  • Two tickets to the Big Wig Ball
  • Social media mentions on @sylvainsociety & @nolabigwig accounts
  • Name on event webpage
  • Verbal and print acknowledgement at Big Wig Ball
$500 Big Wig Krewe Riders Sponsor
  • Four tickets to the Big Wig Ball
  • Social media mentions on @sylvainsociety & @nolabigwig accounts
  • Name on event web page
  • Verbal and print acknowledgement at Big Wig Ball
$1,000 Big Wig Krewe Court Sponsor
  • Six tickets to the Big Wig Ball
  • Social media mentions on @sylvainsociety & @nolabigwig accounts
  • Logo/Name on Big Wig Ball media
  • Logo/live link on event web page
  • Two tickets to a New Orleans Opera production at Mahalia Jackson Theater
  • Verbal and print acknowledgement at Big Wig Ball
$2,000 Big Wig Krewe Captain Sponsor (Presenting Level)
  • Ten tickets to the Big Wig Ball
  • Social media mentions on @sylvainsociety & @nolabigwig accounts
  • Logo on all Big Wig Ball media
  • Logo/live link on event web page
  • Four tickets to a New Orleans Opera production at Mahalia Jackson Theater
  • Press release announcing presenting sponsorship
  • Verbal and print acknowledgement at Big Wig Ball
Custom Sponsorship Packages are available: email sylvain@neworleansopera.org

This event has a wide, diverse group of cultural supporters, and we love promoting our local sponsors. Please join us in continuing this annual tradition that strengthens the local arts community by becoming a sponsor today.

About Sylvain Society

Sylvain Society is the New Orleans Opera Association’s young professionals affiliate organization. Sylvain’s mission is to connect the operatic arts to the Greater New Orleans community. Membership is free and open to individuals ages 21 through 45.

Sylvain Steering Committee Chairs: Amanda Credeur, Ava McClain, Michael Roussel Jr., and Bianca Spears.

Learn more at www.neworleansopera.org/sylvain

Categories
2021-2022 Opera News

The Lacrimosa Project

The Lacrimosa Project

The Lacrimosa (Latin for “weeping/tearful”) is part of a powerful Requiem composed in D Minor by Mozart in 1791. In consideration of our own New Orleans community, so heavily impacted by COVID-19, we have created this unique and meaningful project to lift voices up in memory of those in our community we lost. Coming soon! 

A VIDEO BY CRISTA ROCK, THE NEW ORLEANS OPERA, AND THE LOUISIANA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA. FEATURING MEMBERS OF THE NEW ORLEANS OPERA CHORUS AND THE LOUISIANA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA.

The Story

Mounting Porgy and Bess without our chorus – the true heart of the Catfish Row community.

Just weeks ago, the New Orleans Opera was thrilled to present a 90-minute abridged version of Porgy and Bess at the Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park as our 2020-21 season closer. This American classic by George and Ira Gershwin was the only scheduled work this year to enjoy a live performance with live orchestra in front of a live audience! And yet COVID-19 restrictions meant mounting the opera without our chorus – the true heart of the Catfish Row community.

We thought of our own New Orleans community so heavily impacted by COVID-19 and decided to lift these voices up in memory of those in our community that we lost. 

Partnering with the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), the opera company has found a way to offer a paid musical opportunity to 24 singers who would have been hired as the core ensemble for Porgy and Bess. They instead have joined their voices for the Lacrimosa movement from Mozart’s Requiem, accompanied by the LPO under the baton of Maestro Robert Lyall. The performance, recorded at the Esplanade Studios, will serve as the soundtrack for a filmed tribute by Crista Rock to New Orleanians lost to COVID-19.

The vocal ensemble, prepared by Chorus Master Carol Rausch, consists of current and former members of the New Orleans Opera Chorus, students and alumni of Loyola University, students and alumni of Xavier University, faculty members from these institutions and Nicholls State University, and members of OperaCréole. Founded by Givonna Joseph and Aria Mason after the 2010 production of Porgy and Bess and recognizing the need to spotlight the amazing pool of Black classical vocalists in the city, OperaCréole researches and performs lost or rarely performed works by composers of African descent.

FEATURING

New Orleans Opera
Carol Rausch, chorus master
SOPRANO

Joel C. Dyson 

Valerie Jones Francis 

Rebeckah Gordon-Kirk 

Vickie R. Thomas 

Taylor J. White 

Khrystal Williams 

ALTO  

Allison Joiner 

Givonna Joseph 

Aria M. Mason 

Amanda McCarthy 

Valencia Pleasant 

Shirley A. Stewart 

TENOR 

Tyrone Chambers, II 

Antonio Domino, Jr.

Kentro Mason, Jr.  

Mark-Anthony Thomas 

Ahmir Trotter 

Jeremiah Tyson 

BARITONE/BASS

LaRon Austin, Jr.   

Isaiah Frection 

Ivan J. Griffin 

Brandon Richardson 

Micah D. Turner 

Dr. John E. Ware 

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Robert lyall, conductor
VIOLIN 1

Hannah Yim

Carlos Miguel Prieto

Sarah Yen

Janeta Mavrova

Judith Fitzpatrick

VIOLIN 2

Byron Tauchi

Kurt Munstedt

Yaroslav Rudnytsky

Benjamin Thacher

VIOla

Richard Woehrle

Bruce Owen

Ila Rondeau

CELLO

Jonathan Gerhardt

Rachel Hsieh

Dimitri Vychko

BASS

Paul Macres

CLARINET

Daniel Parrette

John Reeks

BASSOON

Michael Matushek

Darrel Hale

TRUMPET

Vance Woolf

Craig Heinzen

Trombone

Matthew Wright

Ben McIlwain

Evan Conroy

Timpani

Jim Atwood

Special thanks to the production teams!

Esplanade Studios: Misha Kachkachishvili, Jesse Snider, Daniel Perez, Varavara Degtiarenko, Jeromy Thomas.

Crista Rock Productions: Crista Rock and Angelo Imbraguglio. 

Categories
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.

Categories
Job Opportunities News

Director of Community Partnerships and Education

Title: Director of Community Partnerships and Education
Reports to: General Director
Classification: Full time, Exempt
Salary Range:  $45,000-$55,000 commensurate with experience, plus benefits (paid vacation, sick days, health insurance, SIMPLE IRA plan with company match)

The mission of the New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) is to enrich the lives of all people by producing opera of the highest artistic quality and provide educational opportunities through traditional and innovative approaches.  The Director of Community Partnerships and Education plays a critical role in the realization of the company’s goals and the overall growth of the New Orleans Opera.

New Orleans Opera Association is celebrating its 78th season in 2020-2021 and is proud to continue the legacy of producing opera in America’s First City of Opera, a tradition which began when Andre Getry’s Sylvain premiered in New Orleans on April 22, 1796. Each year, NOOA presents operatic productions that feature both classical and contemporary works. Beyond the stage, the key component of NOOA’s mission is its commitment to outreach and education programs in the Greater New Orleans area.

If you are passionate about the power of the arts to change people’s lives, understand the unique culture of the city of New Orleans as it relates to the arts and education, and have an understanding of both project budgets and organizational financials, we want to hear from you.

Core duties include:

  • ­Work with teachers, students and schools to develop opera-related curriculum and materials that meet Common Core Standards and state-approved academic guidelines.
  • Develop and maintain a network of relationships that will result in substantial access to schools, with emphasis in under-served or low-income communities.
  • Network in the educational community to enhance New Orleans Opera’s relationship with school boards, school administrators, and teachers, as well as furthering relationships and collaborations in the community’s multicultural organizations.
  • Foster partnerships with other arts organizations and community groups through programming that offers opportunities for all people to access and engage in the art form of opera.
  • Build relationships with diverse communities in order to develop specific, targeted programming to promote the art form of opera through engagement and education.
  • Program management of all programs and events related to the Education Department.

This position is a good fit for someone who:

  • Has experience in arts education, ideally with 2-3 years experience in public schools
  • Has strong familiarity with the New Orleans arts and education sectors
  • Has demonstrated ability to build effective community collaborations and partnerships
  • Is a strong and compelling speaker, capable of tailoring remarks to diverse audiences of varying age groups
  • Is passionate about the power of the arts to change the lives of children and adults
  • Is sensitive to the needs of individuals and groups from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs
  • Understands the complexity of financial planning and adhering to budgets
  • Has strong project and program management skills
  • Possesses computer literacy and experience with Microsoft Office
  • Knows how to work within a team to accomplish goals

The New Orleans Opera is willing to teach

  • Specifics about the operatic art form
  • Database skills related to the Choice platform
  • NOOA policies and procedures

At New Orleans Opera, we are committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace and we are an equal opportunity employer.  NOOA will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment based on race, ethnicity, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, protected veteran status, or other characteristics protected by law. We are committed to eliminating barriers to access and equity and see a diverse workforce as a key step toward this goal. We encourage candidates who identify as BIPOC, LGBTQ+, otherwise-abled, and other underrepresented identities to apply. All applications will receive consideration for employment.

To Apply:

Categories
2020-2021 Opera News Opéra Nouvelle

Final Concert of the Season at City Park

At the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art

June 4, 2021 at 6:00 PM

SOLD OUT!

Join us as we close the season with a FREE one-hour Opéra Nouvelle concert of favorite music from both Opera and Broadway by Mozart, Donizetti, Rossini, Delibes, Puccini, Bernstein, Bock and Harnick, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. 

It is free to attend, but you must register for admittance. Bring your own chairs or a blanket for seating and no outside food or beverage is allowed in the Sculpture Garden.

Featuring

Nicole Heinen, soprano
Haley Whitney, soprano 
Zara Zemmels, mezzo-soprano
Antonio Domino, tenor
Kameron Lopreore, tenor 
Ivan Griffin, bass-baritone
Carol Rausch, accompanist

Categories
2020-2021 Opera News Opera On Tap

Opera on Tap – In Our Yard … ENCORE!

Tuesday, May 25 at 5:30 PM

The Opera Guild Home

2504 Prytania St.

Tickets:

  • $30 for a pod of 3 people.
  • Priority seating for people donating at least $25 at the time of purchase.

Details:

  • The performance will take place on the lawn of the Guild Home, 2504 Prytania St. NOLA, 70130.
  • Concert begins at 5:30 PM.
  • Those donating an additional $25 or more will be given priority seating on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Bring a blanket or chairs (up to 3 chairs per pod).
  • No food or beverages will be available, so please BYOB.

Shakespeare – In Our Yard!

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.

Safety Guidelines

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 unvaccinated 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.

Categories
News

New Orleans Opera Blog – May 2021

I am extremely honored and excited to be the General Director of New Orleans Opera, following in the footsteps of Robert Lyall and Arthur Cosenza and continuing the tradition of great operatic performance in New Orleans – America’s first city of opera. Thank you all for the warm welcome to my new home in this community that is so rich with culture and history.

As we look forward to our return to live operatic performances, I want to share with you my excitement about our 2021-22 season – one I’m confident you’ll find to be a dynamic and exhilarating return to the theater. In planning this season, your safety and comfort were top of mind as we ease out of the pandemic-based restrictions of the past year. To that end, the works programmed in the first half of the season are under 90 minutes in length and performed without intermission, following the recommendations of local health officials.

We’ll begin our season with Act 1 of Die Walküre, one of Richard Wagner’s most exciting and dramatic compositions, in collaboration with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and with LPO Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto as conductor.

Our season continues after the New Year with a return to the Marigny Opera House and the Gulf Coast premiere of Josephine, by the popular American composer, Tom Cipullo. This beautiful opera honors the life of the iconic American singer, dancer, and activist, Josephine Baker, and has been hailed as “theatrically riveting” by the Washington Post. The production will be directed by Lauren Turner, Artistic Director of New Orleans theater company No Dream Deferred. Following this American operatic masterpiece, the Marigny Opera Ballet will take the stage to debut a new work of dance inspired by Ms. Baker. This unique collaboration featuring great New Orleans artists is sure to sell out quicky!

In February, the New Orleans Opera Chorus will take center stage for a Gala Concert at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Special guest soloists will join them for a festive evening of opera’s greatest hits conducted by our own Robert Lyall.

Finally, we end the season with Puccini’s beloved masterpiece, La bohème. This tale of young love, found and lost, has never ceased to pull at the heartstrings of audiences in over a century of performances. Metropolitan Opera conductor Joseph Colaneri will make his New Orleans Opera debut on the podium.

These four operatic evenings will form the core of a season rich with opportunities to enjoy the beauty of this art form, celebrating centuries of great composition. By subscribing, you’ll be showing your support as we emerge back into full-scale opera production and joining a community of opera lovers committed to celebrating the transformational power of this art. Our efforts continue year-round across the greater metro area, and we invite your additional support for programs in area classroom as well as around the community.

Join us for this exciting new season and secure your favorite seats by subscribing today! I look forward to being together to enjoy beautiful operas again. Warmest wishes,

Clare Burovac

General Director

Categories
Adult Education News

Masterclass Monday

Masterclass Monday

New Orleans Opera and Loyola University have a long and rich relationship, with a history of many partnerships, including Masterclasses. We are proud to collaborate again this year in the virtual environment, and we are excited that we can invite you to join us.

Masterclasses play a very important role in the development of a young singer. According to Fred Plotkin, “Masterclasses are one of the most fascinating aspects of the process of taking talented but inexperienced young singers and trying to polish and mold them while allowing them to retain what makes them special.”

New Orleans Opera is grateful to those participating in this Masterclass Series for allowing us a glimpse into the special journey of an opera singer. Mark your calendars to join us – free of charge!


Alfred Walker – May 10, 2021

  • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CST
  • Sponsored by New Orleans Opera

About Alfred Walker:

New Orleans native Alfred Walker is a graduate of Dillard University, Loyola University, and the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Program. He is also the recipient of awards from the George London Foundation, Palm Beach Opera Competition, Houston Opera Studio’s Eleanor McCollum Competition, and the Sullivan Foundation career grant.

Mr. Walker was lauded by Opera News for his “inky bass-baritone and clear projection that seemed ideally suited to the role, capturing this isolated man’s passion with telling grief,” for his performance as Crown in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess.

Read more about Alfred on his website here.

Alfred Walker

Nancy Maultsby – March 15, 2021

  • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CST
  • Sponsored by Loyola University

Students

  • Emily Acuña, soprano – senior
  • Julia Ernst, mezzo-soprano – freshman
  • Samantha Resser, mezzo-soprano – graduate student
  • Allison Waguespack, soprano – senior

About Nancy Maultsby:

Last seen at the New Orleans Opera in the Verdi Requiem in 2010. American mezzo-soprano Nancy Maultsby is in demand by opera companies and orchestras throughout the world.  Her unique vocal timbre and insightful musicianship allow her to pursue a repertoire extending from the operas of Monteverdi and Handel to recent works by John Adams. She regularly performs the major heroines of nineteenth-century French, Italian, and German opera and the great symphonic masterpieces.

Read more about Nancy on her website here.

Nancy Maultsby, photo credit: Dario Acosta
View upcoming Loyola Music Events Here.

Previous Masterclasses

JANE EAGLEN – December 14, 2020

  • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CST
  • Sponsored by Loyola University
Students:

Antonio Domino, tenor
Julianna Espinosa, soprano
Julia Tuneberg, soprano
Jeremiah Tyson, tenor

About Jane Eaglen:

Jane Eaglen has enjoyed one of the most formidable reputations in opera for the past two decades. Her performances of roles such as Isolde in Tristan und Isolde, the title roles in Puccini’s Turandot, Bellini’s Norma, and Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos, and Brünnhilde in Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen have earned her acclaim on stages of the leading opera houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Teatro alla Scala, Vienna State Opera, and l’Opéra National de Paris.

Read more about Jane on her website here.

Jane Eaglen, photo courtesy of New England Conservatory

GREER GRIMSLEY – December 7, 2020

  • 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm CST
  • Sponsored by the New Orleans Opera
Students:

Samuel Ater, bass-baritone
Nora Cullinan, soprano
Veronica Samiec, soprano
Alysa Foster, soprano
Garrin Mesa, baritone

About Greer Grimsley:

Greer Grimsley is internationally recognized as an outstanding singing actor and one of the most prominent Wagnerian singers of our day. Continuing his reign as a leading interpreter of the god Wotan, he sang the eminent role once again in the Spring of 2019 for the Metropolitan Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in the reprisal of Robert Lepage’s landmark production from 2013. New Orleans is lucky to have Greer and his family call the city home!

Read more about Greer on his website here.

Courtesy of Loyola University from a previous Masterclass, Carol Rausch, Kameron Lopreore, and Greer Grimsley