Categories
2020-2021 Opera News Opera On Tap

Opera on Tap – In Our Yard

It’s back! Join us in April and May as we debut the new stage at the Guild Home with two new Opera on Tap – In Our Yard concerts.

Both concerts on April 10, 2021 and the 5:00 pm concert on May 15, 2021 are SOLD OUT!

Tickets:

  • $30 for a pod of 3 people.
  • Priority seating for people donating at least $25 per event at the time of purchase.
  • On sale to the General Public: March 15, 2021.
  • Pre-sale for 20-21 Subscribers: March 12, 2021. All current Subscribers are encouraged to call the Box Office for tickets beginning March 12, 2021.

Details:

  • Performances will take place on the lawn of the Guild Home, 2504 Prytania Street, NOLA 70130.
  • Concerts begin at 3:00 pm & 5:00 pm. 5:00 pm Sold Out
  • Face Masks Required (additional safety rules are outlined below.)
  • Tickets are $30 for a pod of up to 3 people.
  • Those donating an additional $25 per event or more will be given priority seating on a first come first served basis.
  • Sections are assigned in the order tickets are purchased.
  • Bring a blanket or chairs (up to 3 chairs per section). No food or beverages will be available, so please BYOB.

Shakespeare – In Our Yard!

April 10, 2021

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.

Travel the World – In Our Yard!

May 15, 2021

Even if your vacation plans are virtual, let us help with musical suggestions from around the globe! If you’re thinking about a classic trip to Europe, we’ve got selections from Italy, Spain, Germany and France. Something slightly more exotic? We’ll take you to Russia and the Balkans. Maybe a Caribbean cruise is more your style? Enjoy an excerpt from the West Indies. If you’re staying in the States, we’ve got music from Charleston, New England, the Big Apple and of course the Big Easy!

Singers Haley Whitney, Mary Cloud, Isabella Vanderhoof, Kameron Lopreore, Mark-Anthony Thomas, Frank Convit and Spencer Reichman, with pianist 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 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
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!


Nancy Maultsby – March 15, 2021 (NEW DATE!)

  • 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

Alfred Walker – April 26, 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
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

Categories
Blog News

New Orleans Opera Blog

In spite of an impressive list of instrumental compositions—a symphony, a symphonic poem, two piano concerti, a violin concerto, a double-bass concerto, a Triple Concerto featuring three groups of three soloists, and a ballet, works written over a period of four decades, it is Gian Carlo Menotti’s operas that have endured. Not surprisingly, there are also very few symphonic or chamber works by Verdi and Puccini that have an established place in the world musical repertoire. For the Italianate musical mind, language–specifically drama–was the greatest stimulation for creativity. The same is said of the giovane scuola, (young school) of Italian opera composers who followed Verdi at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries. Virtually all of this “school” (Puccini, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Cilea and several others) were based at the Milan Conservatory and adhered to the operatic style known as “verismo”—drama based in everyday reality.

Menotti’s The Medium: A Perspective

By Robert Lyall, New Orleans Opera Artistic Director

Menotti (1911-2007) was born in Italy and initiated his musical studies at the Milan Conservatory at age 12, but a few years later Menotti’s mother chose to move to America to revitalize their family’s failing coffee business. At the recommendation of Arturo Toscanini, she enrolled her then 17-year old son in Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. There he joined future American luminaries like Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber. Menotti, like Richard Wagner, wrote the texts for all of his 28 operas. Only 3 early works Amelia Goes to the Ball, The Island God (withdrawn) and The Last Savage were written in Italian. All others were written in English and he frequently referred to himself as an “American composer.”

Menotti’s early celebrity was heightened by the evolution of television, radio, and film in the United States. Television emerged as an experiment in a General Electric factory in Schenectady, New York in 1928. Later in 1928, G.E. opened a second facility in New York City, today known as WNBC. The rapid development of television in America following the end of World War II in 1945 and the coincidence of the fine arts being a part of early television and radio programming hugely increased public awareness of early Menotti works. This was especially true after he was commissioned by Columbia University to write an opera The Medium that might be broadcast through these newly-influential outlets of art and entertainment. Media-savvy Menotti’s Columbia University premiere in May 1946 was followed by a Broadway premiere in May 1947 and a live television production in December 1948 on the celebrated NBC drama series Studio One. Even Australian television filmed it in 1960. These early media successes established Menotti as an international celebrity and helped launch American opera on a new and exciting course.

Menotti has the distinction of being the first composer commissioned to write an opera for radio The Old Maid and the Thief which premiered in April 1939, as well as the first to be commissioned to write an opera for television Amahl and the Night Visitors, which premiered on Christmas eve in 1951. He also founded the celebrated arts “Festival of Two Worlds” (Festival Due Monde) based both in Italy (1958) and Charleston, South Carolina (1977).  With prestigious premieres in the world’s great opera houses and awards throughout his lifetime– for example, Pulitzer Prizes for two of his Broadway operas, The Consul (1950) and The Saint of Bleecker Street (1954)—Menotti also achieved this singular distinction: since its premiere on Christmas eve of 1951, Menotti’s Christmas ‘miracle,’ Amahl and the Night Visitors has reached a wider audience than any other work in operatic history.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that The Medium, Menotti’s 1946 hour-long melodrama, was inspired by a séance that he had attended. Thus, he gives us a very detailed portrayal of the real experience, that of couples and individuals desperate to connect with deceased relatives, especially their young children. As the audience, we are invited to experience the ritual of conjuring that is so very real to these individuals. From the point of view of “dramatic irony,” early in the opera we are made very aware that this is all a fraud on the part of Madame Flora. But it is fascinating to see the emotional depths to which individuals in a séance pursue the fantasy of actually communicating with deceased loved ones. During the course of her séance, Madame Flora herself has a bizarre encounter with the supernatural that completely shocks her and alters her prophecies and truthfulness in this fascinating psycho-drama with its interesting twists and turns.

From the New Orleans Opera’s 2007 production of The Medium in partnership with Music@Madewood.

 In 1951, Menotti composed and directed a musically expanded version of The Medium with the filmmaker, Alexander Hammid, that resembles “film noir,” a theatrical and film style of the 40s and 50s having roots in German Expressionistic cinematography and theater. Interestingly, classic “film noir” were often referred to as “melodramas,” a term we strongly associate with opera and musical theater. Film noir characters generally represented the cynical attitudes and sensual motivations derived from “crime fiction”—a distinct theatrical style that emerged from the Great Depression. As it was once excellently described, it is “a black and white visual palette creating a “chiaroscuro” of varying shades of gray.”

The musical language of The Medium clearly reflects its Italian origins with stylistic elements closely related to Puccini ‘s grand melodic rhetoric. But, Menotti’s most immediate connection to any emerging “American operatic idiom” was developed through his work with Samuel Barber for whom he wrote two libretti (Vanessa and A Hand of Bridge) as well as revising Barber’s Anthony and Cleopatra for its 1966 Metropolitan Opera premiere.

In spite of his frequent earlier comments about being an “American composer,” in his last years Gian Carlo Menotti simply said, “I’ve always been an Italian composer.”

Marie Laveau (1801-1881)

A fun parallel with The Medium’s Madame Flora is New Orleans’ very own Madame Flora: a Medium, Soothsayer, Conjurer, Fortune-Teller, and to many, a Voodoo Princess with supernatural powers able to communicate with dark forces beyond the world of the living.

Our local conjurer’s powers included healing the sick, overseeing spiritual rites, and practicing an array of ways to communicate with the occult. But, Marie Laveau achieved huge celebrity during her lifetime and enjoyed the passionate support of thousands of New Orleans followers who truly believed in her supernatural powers. Even well after her death she was an object of veneration and pilgrimages to her tomb (Plot 347 in St. Louis Cemetery #1) were frequent, colorful, and included a ritual practiced until very recent times. If you wanted Marie Laveau to grant your wish, you must draw an X on her tomb, turn around three times, knock on the tomb and yell out your wish. If it was granted, you must come back to the tomb, circle your X, and leave Marie Laveau a gift.

Categories
2020-2021 Opera News

A Night with the Black Opera Alliance

The Sylvain Society proudly presents

A Night With The Black Opera Alliance

Hosted by Bianca Spears, LMSW, Co-Chair of the Sylvain Society
February 19th at 6:00 p.m. (CST) via Zoom
RSVP sylvain@neworleansopera.org
Join the Sylvain Society Friday, February 19th at 6:00 pm for a free virtual event, a Night with the Black Opera Alliance. In celebration of Black History Month, Sylvain Society is proud to host their February event in partnership with The Black Opera Alliance. The interview will be conducted by Sylvain Co-Chair Bianca Spears, LMSW. In attendance will be Jayme Alilaw, Pamela Jones, and Garrett McQueen representing the Black Opera Alliance. Attendance is free and open to the general public.

Jayme Alilaw is an Army veteran, mother, and creator of many passions who engages the world as an opera singer, coach, content creator, educator, and advocate. Currently based in Atlanta, Georgia, Jayme is committed to elevating the voices of Black creators, producing performance art such as La Femme Noire: The Celebrated Womxn, a celebration of the contributions of African American womxn as composers, poets, and singers, as well as Tapestry: A Historical Journey Through Song, an interactive workshop performance commissioned by The Atlanta Opera for grades K-8 that explores the origins of Spirituals and Freedom Songs and the musical and literary elements that comprise them.

Two-time winner of the National Opera Association Vocal Competition Legacy Award, lyric coloratura soprano Pamela Jones has been a soloist with New York City Opera, Royal Danish Theatre, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival (USA), American Spiritual Ensemble, L’Orchestre Philharmonique Sainte Trinité (Haiti), Philadelphia Chamber Chorus, Mostly Mozart Festival, American Symphony Orchestra, Trilogy: An Opera Company, Lighthouse Opera Company, Arch Angel Productions, Ember Ensemble, and the Dundalk (Ireland) International Drama Festival, where she won the Best Supporting Actress Award. She earned her master’s degree in Voice Performance from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

Garrett McQueen spent the first decade of his career working as a professional bassoonist with orchestras including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, and many others. Driven to change the aural definitions connected to “classical” music, Garrett left the stage in 2016, and now works as a content creator and digital producer, with projects including the nationally-syndicated radio program, “The Sound of 13”, and the weekly TRILLOQUY podcast.

The mission of the Black Opera Alliance is to empower Black classical artists and administrators by exposing systems of racial inequity and under-representation of the African diaspora in all facets of the industry and challenging institutions to implement drastic reform.

More information on the Black Opera Alliance here.

Sylvain Society is the young professionals affiliate group of the New Orleans Opera Association. Established in 2017, our purpose is to connect the operatic arts to the Greater New Orleans community.

More information on the Sylvain Society here.

Categories
About New Orleans Opera

New Orleans Opera Diversity/Equity Statement

The New Orleans Opera Association is committed to providing an environment that is free from discrimination. NOOA values diversity, recognizing that our differences contribute to our strength as an arts organization serving a diverse population. We are committed to eliminating barriers to access and equity and see a diverse Board, staff, and artists as a key step toward this goal. It is our belief that every employee has the right to be treated with dignity, respect, and self-worth, and that it is imperative that we, as a cornerstone cultural institution in the city of New Orleans, act in a manner free of bias, exclusion, and discrimination whether on the basis of faith, religion, race, ethnicity, gender, age, culture, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, political affiliation, or any other personal differences.

Diversity & Inclusion Vision

New Orleans Opera Board, staff, and artists work together to create a diverse, inclusive, and respectful culture that inspires the entire community of New Orleans to engage with our world-class opera company.

Diversity & Inclusion Mission

We achieve our Vision by:

  • Attracting, recruiting, and retaining a skilled, high-performing, and diverse staff that reflects our city.
  • Recruiting Board members who are passionate about the organization and reflect all facets of the greater New Orleans community, and engaging them actively in committees.
  • Engaging national and local talent of diverse cultures to perform on our stage and in the orchestra pit.
  • Widening the selection of repertoire to include stories by women and composers of color that reflect our community and their experiences in addition to operas from the traditional European canon.
  • Committing resources to cultivate an inclusive culture that respects staff and artist differences, recognizes and rewards their diverse talents, and helps them reach their full potential.
  • Expanding outreach to universities with diverse student populations and Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Gulf Coast Region to provide opportunities to learn all aspects of opera administration and production, including stagecraft, costuming, and wigs and makeup.

At New Orleans Opera we recognize that:

Diversity is important. The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse and the traditional definition of diversity — race, gender, and age — has evolved appropriately to include anything that makes us different from one another. We are a kaleidoscope not only of ideas, but also of various races, ethnicities, religions, generations, languages and cultural groups.

We are collectively stronger through an inclusive culture. New Orleans Opera is committed to not only create and maintain, but also leverage and value the richness of a diverse team of Board members, staff, and artists so that every member of the company has an equal opportunity to contribute in significant ways to the effectiveness of the organization. Our Board and staff will be highly regarded for valuing others and promoting the right of every person to reach his or her full potential; that means integrating our values into our daily interactions and behaviors.

Categories
Blog News

New Orleans Opera Blog

Judging for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions during a pandemic.

By: Clare Burovac, New Orleans Opera General Director

I have been judging for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (MONC) for almost ten years.  It’s always a wonderful experience:  fly to the host city, meet the amazing volunteers who organize and fund-raise for the competition, listen to approximately 30 young opera singers competing for prize money, and, my favorite part, providing feedback to all of the singers about their audition: what they did well, how they can improve, and what impression they made during their performance. 

This season is a year like no other in the arts, and the MONC auditions are no different!  I salute Melissa Wegner and her team at the Metropolitan Opera who were determined to continue the program in whatever way they could, and this year, that meant doing it all virtually.  I had the honor of judging the Florida District level competition on Sunday, January 17, 2021, from the comfort of my home office.  The MONC competition used a company named Kiswe, a cloud-based video company that creates real-time live streams, for this year’s auditions.  All judges participated in a Zoom tutorial in the fall in order to acquaint us with the technology and make sure that we were equipped to participate, both in terms of hardware, internet connections, and audio capability. Then on the morning of January 17, my fellow judges and I met up in the virtual audition room to make sure that we were ready to go and get last minute instructions from MONC. 

I cannot emphasize enough how smoothly the process went!  We had a MONC staff member running the technology, muting and unmuting us whenever necessary.  For those of you who have been participating in Zoom calls over the last month, you know how valuable that was!  The volunteers from the great team in the Florida District brought the singers into the “green room” just before their audition time, and then welcomed them into the “audition room” when it was their turn to perform.  Singers in the Florida District were auditioning from every corner of the United States, including one from Baton Rouge, and we even had one singer who was auditioning from Amsterdam.  Following the deliberations, the MONC staff was able to live-stream the announcement of the winners to social media for all to see.  Feedback was also available – all the singers and judges met on Zoom so that we could provide praise and constructive criticism to the auditionees. 

Although I look forward to hearing live auditions in person again, I was amazed at how successful these auditions were, and I certainly don’t feel like the process was compromised by the technology at all.  Bravi tutti to all of the singers who took the leap of trusting the process to audition for us in this virtual format, and congratulations to the MONC team for the terrific organizational job they did.  (But please don’t tell them that I was judging the auditions in my fuzzy slippers.) 

For more information about the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, visit https://www.metopera.org/about/auditions/national-council-auditions/, or for more specific information regarding MONC in New Orleans, visit http://amicimonc.org/

Categories
News

Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou

New Orleans Opera is proud to present The Opera Guild Home Concert with Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou.

This production is generously underwritten with support from Drs. Ranney and Emel Songu Mize.

The concert is now on-demand!

To access your link after purchasing, click Download Tickets on your email confirmation. It may take several minutes to arrive in your in-box. Note to our current 2020-2021 Subscribers: You already have a link reserved for this concert! Call the Box Office if you did not receive your link. (504) 529-3000

World renowned opera stars Bryan Hymel and Irini Kyriakidou programmed this concert of their favorite operatic arias and duets to share with audiences around the world.  Led by Maestro Robert Lyall, and featuring pianist Michael Borowitz and a string quintet from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, this performance takes place in the uniquely beautiful Guild Home of the New Orleans Opera.  The performance includes selections from Tosca, Romeo and Juliet, and Samson and Delilah, among others.  Join us for an evening of great music, including an exclusive tour of the historic Opera Guild Home and its treasures.

Artists

Robert Lyall, conductor

Irini Kyriakidou, soprano

Bryan Hymel, tenor

Michael Borowitz, piano 

Musicians of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra:

Kurt Munstedt, violin

Byron Tauchi, violin

Bruce Owen, viola

Kent Jensen, cello

David Anderson, bass

Featuring docents from the New Orleans Opera Women’s Guild 

Sonda Stacey, President 

Stephanie Sheridan, Docent Chair 

In order of appearance: 

Elizabeth Viener 

Erin O’Sullivan Fleming, M.D.

Graziella de Ayerdi 

Karen Milanese 

Melissa Gordon 

Ticket information

Please consider making a donation at the time of your purchase in addition to the $20 ticket price to equal the seating level you would have chosen at The Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. For your reference, the pricing levels at the theater are listed below. You support is essential to realize our commitment to keep opera alive in New Orleans. It is through your generosity that we will continue to create beautiful music together.

Thank you for considering this extra gift as this challenging time.

  • Tickets are $20 per link.
  • Purchase your ticket online by clicking the button above or call the Box Office at (504) 529-3000 M-F, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
  • The concert premieres on January 15, 2021 at 7:30 PM and will be available for purchase and to view until February 15, 2021.
  • The link to view will be mailed on Friday, January 15, 2021 – if you purchase after the premiere date the link will be available in your print at home ticket that comes to you with your purchase confirmation.

A message to subscribers: Your link to view this concert is secured with your subscription and will be emailed to you on January 15, 2021. If you are not sure how to view the concert, please email info@neworleansopera.org and someone will call you!

How to watch this program

This recorded production will be available online via YouTube. Please make sure you are able to access this platform before making your purchase. If you cannot watch on January 15, the link you will receive will be active for one month and you may view it at any time during that period. Tickets will be available to purchase until February 15, 2021.

Single Ticket Concert Pricing Levels for Your Donation Reference.

Price Level and Ticket Amount
  • Price Level 1 – $110
  • Price Level 2 – $80
  • Price Level 3 & 4 – $75
  • Price Level 5 – $55
  • Price Level 6 – $37
  • Price Level 7 – $25
Donation
  • $90
  • $60
  • $55
  • $35
  • $17
  • $5

A Sneak Peek

Staff of the New Orleans Opera
Clare Burovac, General Director
Robert Lyall, Artistic Director
Gina Klein, Director of Operations
Keith Christopher, Technical Director
Joanna Sternberg, Director of Development
Sarah McCall, Director of Production
Carol Rausch, Chorus Master/Music Administrator
Janet Wilson, Director of Public Relations & Marketing
Devin Johnson, Patron Services Manager
Jenny Chapman, Support Group Liaison
Dylan Trần, Marketing Coordinator
Emily Barber, COVID Officer

Filmed by Esplanade Studios
Misha Kachkachishvili, Audio Engineer
Jesse Snider, D/P Editor
Travis Marc, Videographer

For more information about the New Orleans Opera Women’s Guild, please contact supportgroupliaision@neworleansopera.org
Singers for the New Orleans Opera are represented by the American Guild of Musical Artists.
All protocols for the making of this film were in full compliance with the City of New Orleans guidelines and regulations.

Copyright New Orleans Opera, 2021
Categories
Thank You!

Thank you to our 20-21 Early Bird Season Subscribers!

In this time of uncertainty, there are many things that remain unknown. But here’s what I know for sure: without you, the New Orleans Opera would be in peril. Your quick actions to renew your opera subscription and to show your support for our efforts to sustain our beloved company during this pandemic are, simply put, inspiring.

Clare Burovac, General Director

Ms. Jo-Ann C. Adams

Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth N. Adatto

Doug and Mary Albert

Mrs. Mathe Allain

Mr. and Mrs. Allain C. Andry III

Mr. and Mrs. John Ariail

Ms. Paula Armbruster

Mrs. Sara P. Attaya

Mr. Wayne Aucoin

Ms. Betty Albert Avery

Ms. Karen Babin

Mrs. Ann Babington

Mr. Gary Bair

Ms. Susan M. Barrosse

Ms. Penny Baumer

Jerry W. Zachary* and Henry Bernstein

Dr. Martha J. Beveridge

Mr. and Mrs. Dale C. Biggers

Mr. and Mrs. William Bivens

Ms. Linda B. Brasset

Mr. Peter R. Brigandi Jr.

Drs. Andrea and Archie Brown

Mrs. Jerry A. Brown

Ms. Georgia M. Bryant

Mr. Byrd M. Buffington, Jr.

Dr. and Mrs. I. Emett Burnett Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Cadow

Dr. Robert J. Cangelosi

Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Capritto

Amy L. Carbonette-Cioll

Ms. Dianne L. Caverly

Mr. Vance Ceaser

Mrs. Loredana Chapman

Mr. R. Levich and Ms. C. Chase

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Christian

Mr. William G. Clark

Judith Clay

Mr. Donald M. Clement

Mr. Charles H. Coates Jr.

Mr. William C. Coe Jr.

Dr. Kellene Cole

Mr. and Mrs. Guy B. Corbett

Dr. Raquel Cortina

Dr. William T. Cotton

Mr. Matthew Cowan

Jean-Louis Cozic

Mr. Arthur A. Crais Jr.

Ms. Dana Cruthirds

Ms. Susan Danielson

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas S. Davidson

Ms. Daniele Denis

Ms. Laura J. Donnaway

Dr. Dianna Douglas

Dr. and Mrs. Charles L. Dupin

Dr. Jean-Farere Dyer

Mr. Wendell Eatherly

Mr. and Mrs. Elroy W. Eckhardt

Ms. Carol Etter

Ms. Deborah Jan Fagan

Ms. Debra L. Fagnano

Barbara Ferguson

Ms. Celia Foard

Prof. Robert Force

Mr. John Ford

Rev. Peggy Foreman

Dr. and Mrs. J.M. Fortino

Laura Franklin

Ms. Lori Freehling

Mr. and Mrs. John Guapp

Mr. Emmet Geary Jr

Mr. Michael Giafagleone

Ms. Joanna Giorlando

Mr. and Mrs. Bruce A. Gordon

Dr. Larry Gray

Ms. Amanda Green

Mr. and Mrs. Michael C. Grumich

Ms. Merle Guerin

Brian and Darlene Guillot

Mr. James C. Gulotta, Jr. and Mrs. Susan Talley

Ms. Jessica Hack

Mr. Charles Hadley

Mr. and Mrs. Allan Halbert

Mr. and Mrs. Charles J. Hanemann Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Seth Harris

Sharon Hayes

Ms. Adrea D. Heebe

Mr. Raymond A. Heitger

Mr. and Mrs. Timothy Hemphill

Ms. Deborah Henton

Ms. Barbara G. Hightower

Ms. Lila Hogan

Mr. and Mrs. Don Wayne Hoppens

Mr. and Mrs. John Howland

Dr. Jean Y. Hurley

Mrs. Linda Ibert

Mr. and Mrs. Erik F. Johnsen

Hon. Bernette Johnson

Mr. Arthur M. Kastler

Ms. Patricia Kennedy

Ms. Ruth E. Kennedy

Elizabeth & James Landis

Dr. Cynthia Langford

Mr. and Mrs. V. Price LeBlanc Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Edward F. LeBreton III

Mr. Donald I. Levy

Maline and Ronald Berenger

Mr. Dwayne O. Littauer

Mr. John Lombardo

Dr. William M. Long

Mrs. Kathleen C. Lorenz

Mrs. Jacquelyn Lothschuetz

Ms. Isley Lundgren

Mr. Michael Lyons

Mrs. S. Ann Mahorner

Ms. Kathleen A. Manning

Ms. Joanne Mantis

Mr. Anthony Marino

Ms. Nancy K. Marks

Ms. Patricia P. Marse

Mrs. Charlene G. Marsiglia

Mr. Edward F. Martin

Mrs. Stanley Marx

Mona Mathius

Mr. and Mrs. Rick Mattei

Ms. Barbara Smith Maumus

Mary Maygarden

Mr. and Mrs. James McCarty

Ms. Tanya Mennear

Mrs. David H. Mielke

Karen and Frank Milanese

Ms. Sonja Mistretta

Drs. Emel Songu and Ranney Mize

Ms. Cynthia Molyneux

J. Edgar Monroe Foundation

Ms. Sonya K. Moore

Mr. Benjamin H. Motion

Ms. Kristyn Murray

Mr. Wm and Dr. C. Murray

Ms. Rachel Nettles

Mr. and Mrs. Eric Nye

Dr. and Mrs. Henry D.H. Olinde

Mr. and Mrs. John Olinde

Ms. Rita Olmo

Mr. and Mrs. Mark Otts

Dr. and Mrs. Vernon V. Palmer

Ms. Sophia G. Pappas

Mrs. Ivonne Patin

Mr. and Mrs. Robert B. Patout

Dr. and Mrs. John T. Patterson

Mr. and Mrs. Rawley M. Penick III

Mr. Diego Ernesto Perez Ramos

Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Pettit Jr

Gerald & Patricia Price

Dr. Carolyn Clawson Prickett

Ms. Beverly Rainey

Mr. Robert Redfearn

Mr. and Mrs. William D. Reeves

Ms. Sally E. Richards

Ms. Sally Richardson and Mr. Ronald J. Scalise Jr.

Ms. Diana Ricou-Smith

Mr. Robert Rivard

Ms. Kathleen Robert

Ms. Lillian Samardzija

Prof. Cynthia A. Samuel

Mr. George Sanchez Sr.

Mr. and Mrs. Gerald Satawa

Mr. and Mrs. Jack Scariano Jr.

Ms. Helen L. Schneidau

Mr. Stanley Schwam

Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Z. Sher

Ms. Sarah Simpkins

Mr. and Mrs. Terrence Sims

Mr. and Mrs. Howard E. Sinor Jr.

Dr. Kristi Soileau

Mrs. Louise J. Sonnier

Mrs. Jacqueline Sperier

Mr. and Mrs. Alfred E. Stacey IV

Susan Stephens

Mr. John Christopher Stewart

Ms. Diana Stieffel

Hugh Straub

Mrs. Mihoko Strong

Mrs. Phyllis M. Taylor

Beth L. Terry

Olivier & Ghyslaine Thelin

Mr. Kyner Thorne Jr.

Ms. Charlotte A. Throop

Patricia Traina

Mrs. Catherine Burns Tremaine

Dr. and Mrs. Peter M. Tufton

Hon. Janis van Meerveld

Dr. Virginia Vehaskari

Ms. Mignonne Volterre

Mr. Raymond Washington

Jo Watkins

Jennifer Webber

Mrs. Dorothy Weisler

Ms. Carmelite Wellman

Ms. Regina Wilemon

Mrs. Andrea J. Wilkes

Mr. and Mrs. James F. Willeford

Kathleen Williams

Ms. Patricia Williamson

Ms. Elizabeth Wilson

Dr. Neil Wolfson

Ms. Debby Hirsch Wood

Mr. Joseph Young Jr. and Dr. Aysen Young

Categories
News

The Musical Journey (so far!) of Dylan Trần

Who is Dylan?

Dylan has many titles with New Orleans Opera! Among them: Chorister, Marketing Coordinator, Filmmaker, and Composer. Grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and enjoy reading about his musical journey…so far.

New Orleans Opera:
Thank you for letting us all get to know you a little better Dylan! Let’s kick it off at the beginning – tell us about your journey to a music filled life?
Dylan:

“In elementary school I was cast as Mowgli in a community theatre production of The Jungle Book. Unfortunately my family, the theatre, and I were all convinced that I was tone deaf. To be fair, I couldn’t match pitch to save my life. They changed half of my singing lines to spoken, gave the other half to other characters, and left me a single singing line: “The bees are buzzing in the trees to make some honey… just for…”, which I butchered at every performance. I was so embarrassed that I totally gave up on any hope of being a musician after that. Years later, however, I discovered My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, and other pop-punk bands. They ignited something in me and I began saving up money for instruments, teaching myself guitar, piano, whatever I could get my hands on. I remember desperately wanting to learn the drums as a teenager, but we couldn’t afford a drum set. I knew that the local community theatre had a drum set though, so I lied about being able to play and offered my “services” in the orchestra pit for free. When they said yes, I was so excited.

Yes! I’ll get to play a real live drum set! Whelp, I better go learn how to do that…” 

I spent hours every night leading up to the first rehearsal on YouTube, absorbing as much information about drums, drummers, and drumming as I could, practicing on pots and pans, books and boxes, and my own body. When I showed up to that first rehearsal, adjusted the throne, and sat myself behind the drum kit, none were the wiser…

In my experience, teaching yourself drums and guitar is much easier (and much less expensive) than teaching yourself an orchestral instrument, so unfortunately I wasn’t equipped to participate in band or orchestra in high school. I resigned to the choir room and to after school theatre, this time with a bit more vocal facility, where I discovered my love for singing. My affair with opera began shortly after, when I stumbled into an audition for The Magic Flute my freshman year at Loyola, not knowing what opera even was or why this Mozart guy was such a big deal…”

How long have you been working with NOOA? And please tell us about your different roles within the company:

In 2014 I got a text from Carol Rausch asking if I was available to sing in the chorus for NOOA’s Le Nozze di Figaro. My college roommates can confirm, I yelped with excitement. I was 20 years old, a sophomore at Loyola, I had only just discovered (and fallen in love with) what opera even was the year before… and yet here I was with an opportunity to perform with a professional opera company! I’ve been so fortunate ever since to sing comparario roles, sword fight, learn martial arts, ballroom dance, cover roles, etc. all on the Mahalia Jackson Stage. 

One of my personal highlights as a vocalist was in our 2018 production of Terrence Blanchard’s Champion. Not only was it an honor to sing in a production by Blanchard, a living legend, but I found myself in a comprimario role that included a full duet scene with the main character! Our scene ended in a big kiss and I’ll never forget the hooting and hollering of local teens coming from the house during our Student Night Out orchestra dress.

After some time I realized that, while I was gaining valuable experience through performing with Loyola, NOOA, Krewe de Voix, the Marigny Opera House, the LPO, church choirs, and many other performance organizations throughout this amazing city… I wasn’t learning much about the business of music. I knew if I wanted to be successful, I needed to pick up that slack. Serendipitously a marketing internship opened up at NOOA. I applied, worked my butt off, and the next year we negotiated a part-time position. Now I get to work with the amazing staff at NOOA, meet so many wonderful members of our New Orleans community, and share with the world some of the things I love most: music and the people who make it possible.

Do you ever have internal struggles/conflicts while working on both the administrative and artistic side of the the company at the same time?

I try to be thoughtful about working on the administrative and artistic side of things simultaneously. In the ‘19-’20 season I was in the choruses of both Carmen (Bizet) and Joan of Arc (Tchaikovsky), while also “premiering” my staff role as Marketing Coordinator. Balancing my chorus duties with my marketing duties isn’t always the easiest thing to do… in many rehearsals I would be singing high As alongside the other tenors one moment, then I would run off stage to take photos of the principals the next moment. Occasionally I wouldn’t be able to sing with the rest of the chorus for certain passages in rehearsals, so that I could ensure our video/audio gear was recording the content that we needed for promoting these productions. It then becomes even more imperative that I’m doing the sufficient preparation on both ends, to make up for having responsibilities in multiple areas. 

Dualities are in my blood, though. Being of mixed race, having a father who was an immigrant from Viet Nam and a mother who is a Louisiana native, I have been raised having to navigate two cultures and two lived experiences. Even in college I was both a conductor and an ensemble member, both a performer and a composer, spending my afternoons in opera rehearsals before running to bars to play with my rock band in the evening. My family comes from poverty and yet I work in this affluent field. I spend my time studying the folk songs of Pham Duy, the orchestrations of Maurice Ravel, the lyrics of Childish Gambino, etc. While I acknowledge the difficulty of balancing seemingly juxtaposing responsibilities, I have to admit that for me there is a comfortability, even a preference at this point, in existing in and moving between these different worlds. 

And now on to your art! The Song of Songs, tell us about the inspiration for this piece. What has been foremost in your mind about seeing and hearing it with a live audience for the first time?

As soon as the pandemic was on the news, I knew that opera was going to have to adapt. I immediately started brainstorming different ways that these traditional pieces could be adapted to be socially distanced. But then I thought… why try to adapt these traditional works, when you could create new works specifically to be socially distanced? Throughout history composers have adapted their music to meet the needs of the medium in which it was being performed. Why should this be any different?

As for the subject matter, I have always found the Song of Songs to be a deeply beautiful text. During lockdown, when I and many others were forced into quarantined solitude, I found myself longing for the kind of intimacy present in the Song of Songs. I feel that the very intimate language in that text, these things that you would whisper into a lover’s ear from centimeters away, take on a different meeting when your forced to say them from 6ft apart (or, in the case of our AGMA Safety Stipulations, the sing them from 15ft apart). 

The piece is written specifically to meet COVID safety guidelines. There is minimal orchestration (only a cellist and a violinist), only two soloists, and an optional small chorus.

The different singers are socially distanced and the music is written in a way that is conducive to this- taking inspiration from the antiphonal courting practice of the indigenous Hmong people in the mountains of North Vietnam, antiphonal Gregorian chants, and harmonies that very in complexity in relation to the physical closeness of those players. When musicians are in close proximity the harmony is more modulatory, but when the texture is more antiphonal the harmony eases into minimalism to better facilitate a satisfying aural experience. 

Do you have a vision for this piece beyond its recent November 8th debut with our Opera Nouvelle concert at NOMA?

“Every piece you write is practice for the next piece.” I can’t remember who said it, but those are words I live by. The best I can hope for this piece is that it informs my future writing, socially distanced or otherwise. 

That being said, because this piece was meant as a way to make live opera possible in a COVID world, I have sent Song of Songs off to a couple companies around the US for review. I have also sent several excerpts to individual musicians around North America for potential performance and/or recording of the antiphonal a capella duets and solo arias. 

Will you please stay and work in marketing for NOOA even after you are a famous composer?

LOL, who knows what the future holds! All I can say is that I consider myself endlessly fortunate to be a part of this company right now. The staff has been a dream team as we explore new and different ways to share the art of opera, and our community has been so receptive to our efforts. I always feel encouraged by my boss(es) to explore my creativity in every avenue of my interest  and the team is always there to help and support- an absolutely invaluable opportunity in my growth as a professional, an artist, and a person. 

ALSOOOO…

I’m one of the composers on this really cool virtual concert.

White Snake Project has collected stories from essential workers about their experiences working on the front lines – from medical personnel, hospital housekeepers, grocery store workers, delivery people, and others – what they do, how they’ve been coping, their hopes, their fears, their families and their despair – anything they’re moved to write about. They’ve paired their texts with composers to make songs about working in pandemic times so that the rest of us can be safe.

The concert you’ll be attending features LIVE singing by our two singers and LIVE playing by our cellist and pianist as they perform in the safety of their homes. We’re building on technology developed by Jon Robertson, our audio engineer, for Alice in the Pandemic which allows artists to perform live synchronously from remote locations.

Thanks for reading and if you are on our social media accounts, give Dylan a thumbs up or shout out every once in a while!
Categories
Event News

Opera to Geaux

Performance Dates:

December 11, 2020 – December 24, 2020

It’s a great experience to enjoy during the holidays, for birthdays, or to celebrate any special event. A half-hour concert is $350 (includes a tax-deductible donation to New Orleans Opera). Does that sound like a lot? Gather some friends and share the cost (please be mindful of COVID limits, however!)

OR call today to reserve your performance time, (504) 529-3000. Our Opera to Geaux singers are Spencer Reichman, baritone (pictured below), Nicole Heinen, soprano, and Kameron Lopreore, tenor.

Please reserve at least three days prior to the date of your concert. All performances will be subject to availability and certain limits will apply.

Please note: All COVID-19 regulations will need to be observed for the safety and health of both the recipient(s) and the performer including social distancing, masking, etc.

See you in your driveway!