operacreole

Illinois State University

Givonna Joseph and her New Orleans-based troupe, OperaCréole, tackle some of opera's most challenging works with gusto, including early compositions written by free people of color in the United States and Europe. So, in addition to Bizet and Puccini and Verdi and Gershwin, OperaCréole gives full attention to composers Andre Ernest Gretry, Edmond Dede, Lucien Lambert and Samuel Snaer, among others.

In doing so, OperaCréole is continuing one of the nation's longest running opera traditions. New Orleans was home to North America's first opera house.

OperaCréole

Mezzo sopranos are often the bad girls of opera — the floozies, the gossips, the witches, the like. So how did a good girl like Givonna Joseph get mixed up with such characters? Turns out, bad girls have the most fun.

Illinois State University

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.

Illinois State University

When John Boutté invited OperaCréole to join him on stage at this year's New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Boutté knew he'd hit on the right mix for yet another history-making performance. OperaCréole, which appears on Boutté's latest CD, All About Everything, is a new and formidable force in the area's musical pantheon.

Givonna Joseph is the founder of the group and knows the power and the glory of good music. This week, Joseph joins the mix at Music Inside Out for yet another history-making show.

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