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2021-2022 Opera News

The Lacrimosa Project

The Lacrimosa Project

The Lacrimosa (Latin for “weeping/tearful”) is part of a powerful Requiem composed in D Minor by Mozart in 1791. In consideration of our own New Orleans community, so heavily impacted by COVID-19, we have created this unique and meaningful project to lift voices up in memory of those in our community we lost. Coming soon! 

A VIDEO BY CRISTA ROCK, THE NEW ORLEANS OPERA, AND THE LOUISIANA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA. FEATURING MEMBERS OF THE NEW ORLEANS OPERA CHORUS AND THE LOUISIANA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA.

The Story

Mounting Porgy and Bess without our chorus – the true heart of the Catfish Row community.

Just weeks ago, the New Orleans Opera was thrilled to present a 90-minute abridged version of Porgy and Bess at the Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park as our 2020-21 season closer. This American classic by George and Ira Gershwin was the only scheduled work this year to enjoy a live performance with live orchestra in front of a live audience! And yet COVID-19 restrictions meant mounting the opera without our chorus – the true heart of the Catfish Row community.

We thought of our own New Orleans community so heavily impacted by COVID-19 and decided to lift these voices up in memory of those in our community that we lost. 

Partnering with the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO), the opera company has found a way to offer a paid musical opportunity to 24 singers who would have been hired as the core ensemble for Porgy and Bess. They instead have joined their voices for the Lacrimosa movement from Mozart’s Requiem, accompanied by the LPO under the baton of Maestro Robert Lyall. The performance, recorded at the Esplanade Studios, will serve as the soundtrack for a filmed tribute by Crista Rock to New Orleanians lost to COVID-19.

The vocal ensemble, prepared by Chorus Master Carol Rausch, consists of current and former members of the New Orleans Opera Chorus, students and alumni of Loyola University, students and alumni of Xavier University, faculty members from these institutions and Nicholls State University, and members of OperaCréole. Founded by Givonna Joseph and Aria Mason after the 2010 production of Porgy and Bess and recognizing the need to spotlight the amazing pool of Black classical vocalists in the city, OperaCréole researches and performs lost or rarely performed works by composers of African descent.

FEATURING

New Orleans Opera
Carol Rausch, chorus master
SOPRANO

Joel C. Dyson 

Valerie Jones Francis 

Rebeckah Gordon-Kirk 

Vickie R. Thomas 

Taylor J. White 

Khrystal Williams 

ALTO  

Allison Joiner 

Givonna Joseph 

Aria M. Mason 

Amanda McCarthy 

Valencia Pleasant 

Shirley A. Stewart 

TENOR 

Tyrone Chambers, II 

Antonio Domino, Jr.

Kentro Mason, Jr.  

Mark-Anthony Thomas 

Ahmir Trotter 

Jeremiah Tyson 

BARITONE/BASS

LaRon Austin, Jr.   

Isaiah Frection 

Ivan J. Griffin 

Brandon Richardson 

Micah D. Turner 

Dr. John E. Ware 

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Robert lyall, conductor
VIOLIN 1

Hannah Yim

Carlos Miguel Prieto

Sarah Yen

Janeta Mavrova

Judith Fitzpatrick

VIOLIN 2

Byron Tauchi

Kurt Munstedt

Yaroslav Rudnytsky

Benjamin Thacher

VIOla

Richard Woehrle

Bruce Owen

Ila Rondeau

CELLO

Jonathan Gerhardt

Rachel Hsieh

Dimitri Vychko

BASS

Paul Macres

CLARINET

Daniel Parrette

John Reeks

BASSOON

Michael Matushek

Darrel Hale

TRUMPET

Vance Woolf

Craig Heinzen

Trombone

Matthew Wright

Ben McIlwain

Evan Conroy

Timpani

Jim Atwood

Special thanks to the production teams!

Esplanade Studios: Misha Kachkachishvili, Jesse Snider, Daniel Perez, Varavara Degtiarenko, Jeromy Thomas.

Crista Rock Productions: Crista Rock and Angelo Imbraguglio.