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,