Givonna Joseph and OperaCréole

Oct 4, 2012

This month, OperaCréole will hold a concert in honor of Scott Joplin and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, two composers of African descent, whose operatic works were never fully realized. The group will perform selections from Joplin's much-debated "Treemonisha" (Is it, or is it not grand opera?) and Coleridge -Taylor's "Thelma," which was lost for nearly 100 years before a graduate student discovered it reportedly in the archives of the British Library.

"Thelma" offers new insight into a composer dubbed "the African Mahler." The concert will also offer new insight into the relatively young OperaCréole. Mezzo soprano Givonna Joseph founded the group to showcase composers and singers of Creole and African heritage.

Earlier this year, Joseph sat down with Music Inside Out and traced her own cultural and musical roots, beginning with Marian Anderson, Mario Lanza and Negro spirituals and then taking a decisive turn to James Brown. Yes, THAT James Brown. Tune in for perhaps the zaniest operatic duet of all time.

Music Playlist

James Booker

Silvain: Overture
Andre Ernest-Modeste Gretry
Orchestre De Bretagne & Stefan Sanderling

Be My Love
Mario Lanza

This is a Man's World
James Brown & Luciano Pavarotti

Deep River
Givonna Joseph

Stormy Weather
Lena Horne

Bizet's Carmen 
Act 3: Voyons Que J'essaie A Mon Tour
Shirley Verret, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden & Sir Georg Solti

Un Ballo a Maschera
Saper Vorreste
Verdi Kathleen Battle, National Philharmonic Orchestra of London & Sir Georg Solti

Schubert Lieder (Der Tod Und Das Mädchen)
Marion Anderson

Belle Nuit, the Barcarolle from Les Contes d'Hoffman
Jacques Offenbach
Aria Mason, Givonna Joseph, OperaCréole

Scena from Ernestine
Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Valerie Jones Francis, OperaCréole

Family Affair
Mary J. Blige

Oh Lawd, I'm On My Way from Porgy and Bess

I Need Thee Every Hour
Givonna Joseph

James Booker

Silvain Overture
Andre Ernest-Modeste Gretry
Orchestre De Bretagne & Stefan Sanderling