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2020-2021 Opera Event News Opera at Home

The Orpheum Sessions – A Night at the Opera

In Partnership with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

Opera Favorites!

A virtual concert featuring French and Italian operatic masterpieces, including selections from Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers.

Profound thanks to those that have contributed to our 2020-2021 Season. Click here for the listings.

Premieres Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7:00 pm

Tickets: $15.00

A Message to Subscribers: 

Your link to view this concert is secured with your subscription and will be emailed to you on April 9, 2021 from the LPO. If you do not receive the link, please check your spam folder. The performance is hosted on Vimeo, but you do not need a Vimeo account to watch the performance. Click here for digital access help from the LPO.

Featuring

Jasmine Habersham

Soprano

Betsy Uschkrat

Soprano

Casey Candebat

Tenor

Dennis Jesse

Baritone

Thomas Wilkins

Conductor

Concert Preview:

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2020-2021 Opera Adult Education Education News Opera at Home

ALLONS!

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


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

MARIAN ANDERSON 

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

 NORMAN TREIGLE 

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 

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

FREEDOM RIDE 

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

Categories
Opera at Home

Blue, in Memoriam

“Blue” casts of The Glimmerglass Festival and Washington National Opera

Visit The Glimmerglass Festival YouTube page to learn more about this project. Click here.

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Opera at Home

Good News Friday from OPERA America

Good News Friday is a monthly space to talk about positive change, share good news from the field, and enjoy a chat with friends and colleagues.

In August, special guests Héctor Armienta, Shadi Ghaheri, and Nicole Paiment joined us for conversation, opera games, and a performance of “Awoke as a Butterfly” from M. Butterfly by Huang Ruo and David Henry Hwang, courtesy of The Santa Fe Opera.

The next Good News Friday is September 25, 2020 at 3:30 PM. Subscribe to OPERA America’s YouTube Channel here.

Categories
Balcony Ballads New Orleans Opera Video Series Opera at Home

Pa-pa-pa! ACT II Duet from Die Zauberflöte

VIDEO CREDIT: DYLAN TRẦN

It is Act II and the setting is a Temple of Wisdom in a faraway land, place and time. Throughout the course of the opera, Papageno, a bird-catcher, has been trying to find a wife. Though he fails in most of the trials that Sarastro, the High Priest of the Temple of Wisdom asks him to endure, the Three Spirits arrive just in the nick of time to keep Papageno from ending his life! Miraculously, he is forgiven his failures in the trials, and he is presented with Papagena, a beautiful bird girl who will be his wife.  In typical musical and thematic brilliance, W.A. Mozart features the two characters, within a chirping orchestral underpinning, in an ebullient and charming avian duet.  They sing of all of the wonderful little Papagenas and Papagenos they will produce in joy, laughter and love!

Rachel Looney, soprano

Rachel Looney has been praised by The Times Picayune for her smooth silvery tone and ringing top notes. In November, 2018, she made her operatic debut with the New Orleans Opera as La statue animée in Rameau’s Pygmalion. Rachel has also performed with New Orleans Opera’s “Opera on Tap,” the Victory Belles at the National WWII Museum, and Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre. She has logged over 20 performances as the title role in the New Orleans Opera touring production, Little Red Riding Hood. Rachel holds a Master of Music degree from Loyola University New Orleans where she studied with Luretta Bybee and performed the role of Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.

Frank Convit, baritone

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 Orleans Opera debut as Loreé a wonded soldier in Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc (Maid of Orleans). He regularly performs in the New Orleans Opera touring show Little Red Riding Hood as the Big Bad Wolf. In 2019, Frank performed as Pandolfe in the Loyola Opera Theater production of Massenet’s Cendrillon, and, In 2018, Frank performed as Pablo Picasso in Tom Cipullo’s Afterlife with the Loyola Opera Theater, for the National Opera Association Convention.

Jesse Reeks, pianist

Jesse Reeks is the son of two very successful musicians, and he has played the piano since he was old enough to speak! He is also an expert on the accordion and a master-level organist.  Jesse is comfortable in any realm of music, from secular to sacred and from classical to jazz. He has been the collaborative pianist for the Opéra Nouvelle series for the past year and a half, and he maintains an active performance schedule, even on the “virtual” level!


Part of the Balcony Ballads Series from the New Orleans Opera Education Department
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Behind the Scenes New Orleans Opera Video Series Opera at Home

Behind the Scenes

We want you to know that we can’t wait until we are able to see you again soon, but until then, please enjoy – along with Balcony Ballads – our first Behind the Scenes sessions with Maestro Robert Lyall.

Dr. William Mouat, Education Director for the New Orleans Opera

Beginning with Giacomo Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, we’ll follow the narrative of Cio-Cio San, a beautiful Japanese Geisha who falls under the spell of Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton, a charming United States naval officer who promises her the world but is instead feckless and carefree.  Stay tuned throughout the ensuing weeks for several additional installments of this series, featuring the Maestro’s thoughts on Ludwig van Beethoven’s Fidelio, W.A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute and George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess.

VIDEO CREDIT: DYLAN TRẦN
Categories
Opera at Home

Light Shall Lift Us

From OPERA America

More than 100 opera singers unite in a song of hope and solidarity for a virtual performance of LIGHT SHALL LIFT US, a large ensemble work created by the Pulitzer Prize-winning team of composer Paul Moravec and librettist/lyricist Mark Campbell. The opera community needs your support now more than ever. Please consider supporting your local opera company or artist relief fund. Visit operaamerica.org/LSLU to learn more about this project. OPERA America would like to thank the artists who lent their voices to this project. They come from all across America and represent a broad variety of backgrounds and experience. Their participation is an example of the vitality and resiliency of our field and a demonstration that even while we are apart, music brings us together.

From OPERA America
Click here for a listing of everyone involved in the creation of this beautiful video.

Light Shall Lift Us was originally written for One Voice Orlando, a benefit organized by Opera Orlando in response to the shooting at the Pulse nightclub in 2016. Light Shall Lift Us– Music by Paul Moravec, Words by Mark Campbell Copyright ©2016 by Subito Music Publishing (ASCAP) All Rights Reserved. www.subitomusic.com

Categories
Balcony Ballads New Orleans Opera Video Series Opera at Home

Un bel di vedremo

VIDEO CREDIT: DYLAN TRẦN

Singing “Un bel di vedremo,” soprano Betsy Uschkrat portrays Cio-cio san, a Japanese woman promised to an American naval officer during the height of late 19th Century American colonialism and cultural exploitations. She sings about the beautiful reunion with her beloved Lieutenant Pinkerton, who, unbeknownst to her, has a girlfriend in every port of call. Jesse Reeks is the collaborative pianist.

Dr. Betsy Uschkrat, soprano

Known for her impressive vocal range and artistic versatility, soprano Betsy Uschkrat continues to enthrall audiences across the United States, winning several operatic competitions in the process. Audiences have adored her performances of classical, musical theatre, and the great American Songbook repertoire, described by the New Orleans Times-Picayune as a “vocal powerhouse.” Since 2010, Dr. Uschkrat has taught at Loyola University in the Classical Voice Department and the Popular and Commercial Music degree program. Her students have gone on to perform professionally, become music educators, and work as music therapists across the country.

Jesse Reeks, pianist

Jesse Reeks is the son of two very successful musicians, and he has played the piano since he was old enough to speak! He is also an expert on the accordion and a master-level organist.  Jesse is comfortable in any realm of music, from secular to sacred and from classical to jazz. He has been the collaborative pianist for the Opéra Nouvelle series for the past year and a half, and he maintains an active performance schedule, even on the “virtual” level!


Part of the Balcony Ballads Series from the New Orleans Opera Education Department
Categories
Balcony Ballads New Orleans Opera Video Series Opera at Home

In des Lebens Frühlingstagen

VIDEO CREDIT: DYLAN TRẦN

Tenor Tyler Smith is Florestan in Ludwig van Beethoven’s opera Fidelio. The second act opens with “Gott! welch’ Dunkel hier!” which translates in English to “God, what darkness here!” Florestan is in the deepest recesses of a prison for those who have supposedly committed political crimes.  Though he is innocent, he has lost all hope. The second section of the aria, and our featured selection is “In des Lebens Frühlingstagen…” which means “In the spring days of life…”  Here, Florestan recalls past days of love before his years in the prison.  In a moment of glorious foreshadowing, he also sees a rescuing angel “Ein Engel” who is like his wife, Leonore, and a beacon of light to lead him to Heaven.  Jesse Reeks is our collaborative pianist.

Dr. Tyler Smith, Tenor

Dramatic tenor Tyler Smith has appeared in numerous operatic and concert performances throughout the United States, Europe, and South America.  For his debut as Canio with New Orleans Opera, Mr. Smith stepped in with six hours notice for an ailing colleague.  Opera News deemed his performance a “heroic job…[a] powerful voice and was remarkably in touch with the drama.”  Notable title roles include, but are not limited to Don Jose in Carmen, Rodolfo in La Bohème, Max in Der Freischütz, Boris in Katya Kabanova, the title role in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann, and Belfiore in Argento’s Casanova’s Homecoming. Mr. Smith made his Houston Grand Opera Debut as Carlson in Carlisle Floyd’s Of Mice and Men, which was released on the Albany label.

Jesse Reeks, pianist

Jesse Reeks is the son of two very successful musicians, and he has played the piano since he was old enough to speak! He is also an expert on the accordion and a master-level organist.  Jesse is comfortable in any realm of music, from secular to sacred and from classical to jazz. He has been the collaborative pianist for the Opéra Nouvelle series for the past year and a half, and he maintains an active performance schedule, even on the “virtual” level!


Part of the Balcony Ballads Series from the New Orleans Opera Education Department
Categories
Opera at Home

“Sing Out Strong: Decolonized Voices”

The online performance options during the COVID-19 Pandemic have been coming at us fast and furious! Most outlets are learning as they go (and I’m sure you will agree that some are far superior than others.) But even the less than professionally produced videos and streams offer us all a connection to something we long for – a live performance. We’ve seen living rooms and kitchens inside homes of some of our favorite personalities and I for one, find that utterly charming. This next one I have signed up for is coming to us on the Zoom platform from White Snake Projects. If you want to be a part of the audience, you have to sign up before it begins. Click here to read more and sign-up. Maybe I’ll see you in on the internet!

Thanks! Janet

FROM WBUR: “Sing Out Strong: Decolonized Voices” comes out during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted immigrants. At immigration detention facilities, coronavirus cases have quickly risen. Furthermore, many undocumented immigrants are working frontline jobs for low pay. While the opera is free, Jacobs is directing donations to the Boston International Newcomers Academy. The public high school services new immigrant students, with many English language learners. The students played an important role in last year’s “Sing Out Strong” and helped with this year’s opera as well. “I go into the school and I work with the students on writing lyrics and we talk about the themes,” Jacobs said. “This year, the panel selected five of the lyrics…written by these students, by these new immigrants students so it’s really, really exciting for us all.” Jacobs is directing donations to the school in hopes of supporting education opportunities for immigrants.