New Orleans Opera will receive a cumulative $350,000 gift to underwrite a new chamber opera series for five years. Drs. Ranney and Emel Songu Mize recently committed to creating The Ranney and Emel Songu Mize Chamber Opera Series, which will support the production of operas at alternate venues in the greater New Orleans area. NOOA’s upcoming production of An Homage to Josephine Baker, set to open on January 6, 2022, at the Marigny Opera House, will be the inaugural opera of this series.
“This is an incredible contribution that will enable New Orleans Opera to present new, contemporary, or less-recognized works each year and will help to broaden our audiences through an expansion of the traditional repertoire for the company,” said General and Artistic Director Clare Burovac. “The Mizes have a long-standing appreciation for operas that recount stories and experiences that are not as frequently represented in the more traditional canon. This series will enable New Orleans Opera to bring these productions to the stage and to reflect better the stories of the community we serve.”
NOOA’s presentation of this multi-disciplinary collaboration marks the Gulf Coast premiere of American composer Tom Cipullo’s opera Josephine and the world-premiere of the Marigny Opera Ballet’s new work celebrating the dance of Josephine Baker.
Performances at the Marigny Opera House on January 6, 7, 8, and 9, 2022, are currently sold out, although there is a waiting list for any released tickets.
Ranney Mize will, separately, be recognized as a recipient of the OPERA America National Trustee Awards for 2022. The prestigious honor notes Dr. Mize’s many years of service to New Orleans Opera and his involvement with all of the classical arts in New Orleans. A ceremony honoring Mize and four other recipients from opera companies across the country will take place in New York City in March.