The Sylvain Society hosted a Summer Seersucker Brunch to celebrate the opening of the 2019-2020 opera season on August 11, 2019. Guest speaker, General and Artistic Director, Robert Lyall shared insights about the new season and other exciting events on the horizon.
We think this was the first of many Summer Seersucker Brunches.
Thanks to everyone that attended and thank you Sylvain Society!
Are you interested in joining the Sylvain Society? Click here!
Presented byNew Orleans Opera, Community Works and Dillard University
The first New Orleans Opera Summer Youth Festival and Theatre Camp made its debut in July, 2019. Originally envisioned and planned as a one-week camp, the decision to expand the undertaking to two weeks was made in May, following a series of meetings with Community Works of Louisiana, and the resulting product was a ten-day intensive that lasted from July 15 to July 26, (with a weekend off for campers after each full week of work).
The schedule was intense and demanding, but it was also filled with the
delights of artistic discovery and joy! During the morning sessions,
which lasted from 9:00 a.m. to noon, the campers built extravagant
costumes from household objects, like napkins, paper plates and
They also built bird cages. The concept of these projects – originated and executed by Julie Winn, Costume Master at New Orleans Opera – was to provide dresses for Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen and bird cages for Papageno, a mythical bird-catcher in W.A. Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute.
Both of these operas are on the list of works that New Orleans Opera will present during the course of our 2019-2020 season.
The afternoon sessions
took place from 12:15 to 3:00 p.m. They
were directed by Taylor Ott, who joined the artistic team in Spring, 2019. Afternoon sessions focused on developing the
students’ acting and singing skill-sets
and creating characters for the operas Carmen
and The Magic Flute. Assisted by our music director, conductor and
principal vocal coach, Chase Ludeau, the students successfully prepared a
thirty minute program, with a script by Taylor Ott and a musical score translation
that was revised by William Mouat in order to make it accessible to the
students. Our students ranged from 10 to
12 years in age (grades 4 to 6), and they represented numerous schools in the
New Orleans community.
One of the most poignant
facets of this summer festival was the collaborative aspect. Community Works
Executive Director Chandler Nutik orchestrated the funding for each aspect of
the project’s components, from the rental of the technical facilities at
Dillard University, to the staff salaries for the New Orleans Opera teaching
artists, Julie Winn, Taylor Ott and Chase Ludeau. Community Works On-Site
Supervisor Todd Shaffer was also a prime-mover in guaranteeing the success of
the endeavor. Todd spent every moment of his time making sure that the students
were at the proper locations for the proper events and he went as far as making
sure that the t-shirts that Taylor designed for the performance were
distributed to each student. We are also tremendously grateful to Cortheal
Clark at Dillard University Theatre, and interns Kaila Billups and Dionna
Malone. Kaila and Dionna provided technical support and a lighting design, as
well as classroom support for the entire project.
In short, this project was
a miracle for the students and a shining example of what can be, and is
possible for the community of New Orleans in terms of collaborative spirit and
arts enrichment education! Hats off to
all and Bravi!
—William Mouat, New Orleans
Opera Director of Education, Project Producer and Coordinator, and Artistic
The Sylvain Society is hosting a Summer Seersucker Brunch to celebrate the opening of the 2019-2020 opera season. Guest speaker, General and Artistic Director, Robert Lyall will share insights about the new season and other exciting events on the horizon.
Grab your seersucker and join us at Ralph’s on the Park!