Ms. Givonna Joseph, mezzo-soprano
As Founder and Director of OperaCreole, Ms. Joseph is deeply committed to the culture of New Orleans, city of her birth. This is most evident in her research on 19th Century classical music of New Orleans Free People of Color.
The mezzo-soprano, as OperaCreole founder, was recently honored as a finalist in the Arts-Based Business Pitch at the 2017 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week (NOEW), and previously as a "Standard Bearer " of Louisiana culture by being featured on "Le Grand Tour" a documentary for French TV, and with a radio interview on WWNO Radio/NPR.
In 2015, Ms Joseph sang the role of Marie Laveau, in our 2015 production of Minette Fontaine. She also sang the role of Sylvia in production of Wading Home, and opera of New Orleans written by Mary Alice Rich and Rosalyn Story of Dallas, Tx., and was alto soloists for Messiah with Symphony Chorus of New Orleans at the Orpheum Theater. She sang the role of Gudrun in our 2012 production of Samuel Coleridge Taylor's lost opera Thelma.
Givonna has had featured roles in many New Orleans Opera Productions. Roles included: Mrs Noah's Gossip in Noah's Flood, Lily in two production of New Orleans Opera's Porgy and Bess, and one of the three Abati in New Orleans Opera's Manon Lescaut, and. She has been a member of the professional Opera Chorus for many years.
An award winning arts educator, and music therapist, Ms. Joseph currently teaches voice privately, is a Master Teaching Artist with Young Audiences of Louisiana, lectures on the science of music, and performs for schools through New Orleans Opera's MetroPelican program.
Ms. Joseph has performed in concert at such venues as The American Church In Paris in Paris, France and La Chiesa di Santa Susanna in Rome, Italy. She has been a soloist with the William Grant Still Orchestra, the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, and served as a cantor for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's New Orleans visit. In the 2006-2007 season, she was a chorister with Houston Grand Opera. The creator of "WomanSong", a one woman show, she was also heard as an opening artist for Ray Charles in concert at Jones Hall in Houston, TX.
Ms. Joseph, a Loyola University alumna, has studied with Charles Paddock, Philip and Ellen Frohnmeyer, George Shirley (Metropolitan Opera, U. of Michigan), Patricia O'Neil (LSU), and Kathleen Kaun (Rice U.)
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Givonna served as Music Director/Cantor at St. Rose of Lima Church, and Director of Education for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
The arts advocate, researcher, and writer, is also a member of LA Creole (Louisiana Creole Research Association), and Alliance Française. She has been a Cantor at many other churches around the city. Ms. Joseph is a member of American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) and The Louisiana Touring Directory. Video and audio clips of Ms. Joseph can be found at http://givonnajoseph.webs.com
Aria M. Mason, mezzo soprano
Ms. Mason, Co-Founder of OperaCreole, and Board Member, sings Rosalia in our 2017 production of La Flamenca. She sang the leading role of Madame DiNoyan in our production of Minette Fontaine.
Ms. Mason was recently featured on "Le Grand Tour" a documentary for French TV, has been seen and heard on C-Span, EWTN, WLAE-TV, WWL-TV, and has performed in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Paris, France, and Rome, Italy, in addition to her native city of New Orleans and locales in the Gulf Coast.
The mezzo-soprano is a member of the nationally acclaimed New Orleans Opera Chorus, and was recently featured in the role of Annie in the 2010 production of the Gershwins' "Porgy and Bess". She previously served as choral director and director of music ministry at Our Lady of the Rosary Church.
Ms. Mason is a graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where she studied voice with Regina McConnell. She received bachelor degrees in History and Music, and was the recipient of the Student Activities Award. At CUA, she was featured in the role of Second Lady in a production of Die Zauberflote, and was in productions of La Traviata and The Tender Land. She is also an alumna of Benjamin Franklin High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. She has been a featured soloist in works by Mozart and Bach at the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis, King of France in New Orleans, and has been featured in concert and recital around the Gulf South.
Aria has continued to show her commitment to the renaissance of the New Orleans community. Through her work on the inaugural faculty at Morris Jeff Community School (and past service as a founding member of City Year Louisiana and as the New Orleans Outreach Coordinator at S.J. Green and Arthur Ashe Charter Schools), she has demonstrated her commitment to work toward providing greater opportunities for success for the next generation of New Orleanians. She also owns an online boutique: Belle Lafaye: Creations by Aria Listen to audio clips of Ms. Mason at http://www.ariamason.com.
Terrance Brown, baritone
Mr. Brown, who New Orleans enjoyed in the role of Robbins, in New Orleans Opera's Porgy and Bess, makes his debut with OperaCréole in the role of Jackson in La Flamenca. He is a native of West Blocton, Alabama. Dr.Brown was awarded a Bachelor of Music degree from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, and Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Louisiana State University. Dr. Brown has quickly made a name for himself as a versatile singer and conductor.
An active teacher and stage performer, Dr. Brown has traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe as a concert artist, recitalist, and operatic artist. He is known for his rich, lyrical baritone voice that is capable of performing a variety of musical styles. His performance credits include: Count Capulet in Gounod?s Romeo et Juliette, Bob in Menotti?s Old Maid and the Thief, Peter in Humperdinck?s Hansel and Gretel, Sarastro in Mozart?s Die Zauber Flöte, Collatinus in Britten?s Rape of Lucretia, Boaz in James Niblock?s Ruth and Naomi, Germont in Verdi's La Traviata, Voltaire in Bernstein's Candide, Salieri in Rimsky-Korakov?s Mozart and Salieri, Jake/Robbins in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Le Baili in Massenet's Werther, Le Marquis in Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Dashwood in Mark Adamo?s Little Women.
As an active recitalist and concert artist, Dr. Brown has performed as feature soloist with the Canterbury Choral Society, Texarkana Symphony, Chesapeake Chamber Opera, Rapides Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Ballet, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Baton Rouge Symphony, New Orleans Opera, Mobile Opera, Opera Louisiane, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, as well as many other noted performing ensembles. Dr. Brown currently serves as Chair of the Department of the Department of Music and Conductor of Opera at the University of North Alabama.
Tyrone Chambers, II, tenor
Mr. Chambers, Founding and Principle Tenor with OperaCréole, returns to New Orleans after to tour of Germany and Italy, to sing the leading role of Torres in La Flamenca. He sang the leading role of Diron Harchard in our 2015 production of Minette Fontaine. In 2012, he was Eric in our production of Thelma. He has been most recently seen in several New York performances: Tenor soloist in Schubert's B-flat Mass with the Richmond Choral Society, Gastone in Martina Arroyo's Prelude to Performance production of La Traviata, and King Nebuchadnezzar in Harlem Opera Theater's production of The Burning Fiery Furnace. He has also performed various roles with New Orleans Opera: El Remendado inCarmen, Philistine Messenger in Samson et Dalila, and Second Jew in Salome. He was alsoGovernor/Gambler in Candide in Loyola University production.
This native of New Orleans, LA earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a Master of Music degree from the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Chambers is also a former member of both the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus which was founded by the late Robert Shaw and The Atlanta Opera Chorus. He has performed a few small operatic roles in Porgy and Bess(Gershwin) and LaRoche (Sharon Willis). Mr. Chambers has performed opera scenes from Mozart?s La Finta Giardiniera, Otello, andWerther. He has performed a few roles which include Figaro in The Barber of Seville and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus, with OU Opera Theatre and the role of Laërtes in Mignon at the Music Academy of the West, whose voice faculty is lead by American mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne. Most recently in May of this year he played the part of Padre in Man of La Mancha. His most recent credits include the role of Crab Man in New Orleans Opera Association's production of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess. Mr. Chambers currently resides in his hometown where he is a soloist at Trinity Episcopal Church. His credits also include performances with Loyola University Opera and a tour of recitals around the metro New Orleans area. Mr. Chambers recently participated in Opera in The Ozarks' Summer Program in Northwest Arkansas.
Ebonee Davis, soprano
Ms. Davis, Principle Soprano, is a native of New Orleans, LA. Ebonee sings the role of Piquita in La Flamenca. She sang the role of Clarice in our production of Minette Fontaine. Ebonee made her debut with OperaCréole in 2013, and is a member of the Board of Directors.
She is an Adjunct Professor of Music in Loyola University's Commercial Music Division and Instructor of Voice, Piano and Piano Theory at Loyola Prepartory ArtsProgram.
She received her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of New Orleans, as well as a Performer Diploma in Classical Voice from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Upon completion of her masters degree, Ebonee went to Oderzo, Italy where she was a Young Artist with EPASCO (Ezio Pinza Council for Amerian Singers of Opera). While there, she coached with Claudia Pinza, Enza Ferrari, Maurizio Arena, Maria Chiara, and Vivica Genaux. Ebonee made her Italain concert debut in Motta di Livenza and Oderzo, and studied the roles of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Mimi in La Boheme, Desdemona in Verdi's Otello, and Marguerite in Faust.
Ms. Davis, a section leader and soloist at Rayne United Methodist Church, was recently presented in concert at St. Mary's Church, French Quarter, to benefit the Bishop Perry Center.
Ebonee appeared as both a soloist and chorister with the New Orleans Opera Association in their 2002 production of Porgy and Bess. She subsequently performed with the company in their productions of Tosca, Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci, and La Traviata. Some of Ebonee's opera roles have included: Madeline/Isabelle in The Face on the Barroom Floor, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, and both Sis.Gerald and Madame Lidoine in Les Dialogues des Carmélites. She has performed scenes as: the title role in La Traviata, Mimi in La Boheme, Antonia in The Tales of Hoffmann, and Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte. She is also continuing her own vocal studies with her long-term voice teacher,Dr. Raquel Cortina, while actively pursuing a full-time performance career in opera and classical music.
Kenya Lawrence Jackson, soprano
Ms. Jackson, our Resident Soprano, helps OperaCréole make history in the title role of Flamenca in La Flamenca. A native of Hammond, LA., Ms. Jackson, has studied and performed throughout the country and in Italy and Germany. Kenya's operatic roles include Despina in Cosi Fan Tutti, Laurie in The Tenderland, and Gianetta in The Gondoliers with companies such as Studio Lirico in Anghiari, Italy, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Opera Works in Northridge, California. She has also been heard in various music theater performances.
Kenya has been recognized as a finalist with the National Opera Association competition, and was winner of the Dallas area NATS competition in Spring of 2000.
Kenya currently serves as the Director of Music and Worship at St. Timothy United Methodist Church in Mandeville, LA where her duties include coordinating a large and diverse music program. She conducts the much anitcipated Christmas on the Northshore, showcasing the talents of the 100-voice St. Timothy Choir and the Northshore Orchestra, an ensemble of over 40 local musicians. She also created, produces and directs the annual Of Thee I Sing patriotic celebration each Memorial Day weekend. Kenya has also produced many children's theater productions, including Seussical the Musical, Alice in Wonderland, and Godspell Jr, in addition to several original productions.
Ms Jackson has completed intensive language studies in Urbino, Italy and in Weimar Germany, where she also studied voice with tenor David Brewer. She holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Southern Methodist University, where she studied with Barbara Hill-Moore. She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Southestern Louisiana University, where she was recognized with the James Wilcox Award for Outstanding senior. She currently studies with LSU Professor, Dr. Lorraine Sims.
Barry Robinson, baritone
Mr. Robinson makes his debut with OperaCréole in the role of Morellos in La Flamenca. He will also cover the role of Jackson in this production.
Lauded for his amazingly robust voice and slated for operatic stardom, baritone Barry L. Robinson is enjoying success on both the operatic and concert stages worldwide.
Last season, he ?dug into [the role of the priest Fojo] with passionate commitment? (New York Times) for a revival of Harry Lawrence Freeman?s Voodoo, not heard on the operatic stage for 80 years. Mr. Robinson has had the honor of singing with the Houston Grand Opera, Winston-Salem Symphony, Bard SummerScape Festival under the batons of Sebastian Lang-Lessing, Patrick Summers, Leon Botstein, James Bagwell and Steven Sloane to name a few.
He is a recent recipient of an encouragement award from The Wagner Society of New York. In 2012 he made his international operatic debut at Deutsche Oper Berlin in Prokofiev?s L?amour des trois oranges and was featured in concert at Teatro Sodre in Uruguay and the world renowned Mozarteum Argentino Festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Mr. Robinson began his career singing Il Commendatore/Leporello Don Giovanni, Guglielmo/Alfonso Così fan tutte, Il Conte/Figaro Le nozze di Figaro and Papageno/Sprecher Die Zauberflöte throughout the United States and Europe. His repertoire quickly expanded with Sharpless Madama Butterfly Amore Opera, Escamillo Carmen and Orest Elektra with Opera Manhattan, Frank Chambers in Paulus? The Postman Always Rings Twice Opera Avanti, Jake in the World Premiere of Perry?s Tawawa House Townsend Opera, and Herald in Britten?s The Burning Fiery Furnace Atlantic Vocal Arts Society.
Recent and future engagements for the Greenville, South Carolina native include Amonasro Aida for Lyric Artists of New York, and his debut with L?Orchestre de Chambre de Genève as Sam in Gerswhin?s Blue Monday.
Mr. Robinson holds a Bachelors degree from The Manhattan School of Music and a Masters degree from Rice University.
Ivan Griffin, bass-baritone
American bass-baritone Ivan Griffin has delighted audiences in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, and South Africa. He was mostly recently seen as Angelotti in New Orleans Opera's production of "Tosca"
Mr. Griffin made his debut with OperaCréole in 2012 as King Olaf in Thelma, and was Lucien in our production of Minette Fontaine, was most recently seen as Robbins in the Spoletto Festival's Porgy and Bess, and Angelotti in New Orleans Opera's Tosca. Other engagements have included Lawyer Frazier in Michigan Opera Theatre's Porgy and Bess, a role that he was invited to reprise during a European tour of the opera. He has also appeared as Rev. Olin Blitch in Susannah with Buffalo Lyric Opera, Count Almaviva in The
Marriage of Figaro and Papageno in The Magic Flute with Fayetteville Summer Opera and Western New York Opera Theater, respectively.
Mr. Griffin's many roles with New Orleans Opera have also included: Zuniga in Carmen, and Benoit in La Boheme. He has premiered several new works written for his voice. They include Songs of Winter, a song cycle for baritone and piano; and The Little Thieves of Bethlehem (Centaur Records), both by Rochester, New York-based composer Paul Stuart. With the South Bend Symphony, he was the featured soloist for the world premiere of Requiem for the Innocent, an oratorio by Spanish composer Jorge Muñiz. Of his work the South Bend Tribune said, Griffin was particularly heroic, maintaining his pacing and poise while switching from language to language and culture to culture. Additional oratorio repertoire includes performances of Mendelssohn?s Elijah, Handel's Messiah, Bach's St. John Passion, Dvorak's Stabat Mater and the requiems of Brahms, Duruflé, Fauré and Mozart.
In addition to the South Bend Symphony, Ivan has appeared with the orchestras of New Orleans, Rochester, Toledo, South Carolina, Nashville, Savannah, Bangor, Flint and Southeast Texas.
Recital appearances have taken him to various venues within the United States. They include Morehouse College, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University South Bend, Shippensburg University, Fisk University, Voorhees College, Covenant College and Middle Tennessee State University, to name a few. He has also performed for such audiences as the World's Fair, the International Thomas Merton Society, and the 1996 Summer Olympic Celebrate Faith and Arts Atlanta Concert Series. A frequent soloist with the internationally renowned American Spiritual Ensemble, he has appeared in concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and New York?s Riverside Church.
A versatile artist, Mr. Griffin has been praised for his excellent diction and superb sense of theater. He has been featured in such productions as Guys and Dolls at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, Sophisticated Ladies at Detroit's Music Hall, Big River at Croswell Opera House, She Loves Me at Performance Network in Ann Arbor, and The All Night Strut at Boarshead Theatre in Lansing. He has also shared the stage with the late legendary stage and screen personalities Roscoe Lee Brown and Ossie Davis. See video of Ivan on his website at http://www.ivangriffinsings.com/, and find him on Facebook.
Evan Hammond, baritone
Evan is making his debut in the role of Tampico in La Flamenca.
He is a Senior studying vocal and choral music at University of North Alabama.
At UNA Opera/Musical Theater he sang to role of Marcello in La Boheme, Mercutio in Romeo et Juliet, Baker in Into The Woods, Le Baron Pictardu in Cendrillion, and Pagageno in The Magic Flute.
At Summer Stock at The Ritz he sang the role of Jigger Craigin in Carousel, and was in the ensemble for South Pacific.
Prentiss Mouton, Tenor
Prentiss, our Resident Tenor, is our youngest singer with a very promising career ahead. He made his debut with us in 2013. The 2015 winner of the national George Shirley Competition. Mr. Mouton spent last summer performing in Italy, and will graduate in August from Louisiana State University with a bachelor's degree in Vocal Music Performance. He is a Memphis, Tennessee Native. Prentiss holds a strong background in Musical Theatre, but made his professional debut in The 9th Ward Opera Company's Summer production of George Gershwin's "Blue Monday" in the leading role of Joe at The Marigny Opera House in New Orleans, Louisiana. He has also covered for the role of Alexander in Louisiana State University's Production of "The New Moon", in which he was also a chorus member. This past year, Prentiss competed in his first NATS Competition for the Southern Louisiana Divisions in Fall and Spring, and received first place in his category both times. He is also a member of the Louisiana State University A Cappella Choir. Prentiss is under intense vocal and performance study with Baritone Dennis Jesse, Alexander Technique instructor Patricia O'Neil, and acting coach Josh Talley. After receiving his Bachelor's Degree, Prentiss plans to pursue further Graduate studies in classical music
Crystal Morris, soprano
Ms. Morris, is a founding singer with OperaCréole. She sang the title role in our 2012 production of Thelma by Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Crystal was the 2014 Second Place winner, Young Professionals category, in the MS Opera Voices of Mississippi vocal competition, and the winner of an Encouragement Award from the 2015 Regional Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions. Crystal received her Masters in Music at LSU, and is a graduate in Music Vocal Performance from Xavier University. She hails from Jackson, Mississippi. She was one of the funeral solosists in New Orleans Opera's "Pogy and Bess" Her previous roles include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, with LSU Opera. Monica in The Medium, which was her first fully stage operatic role, Mrs. Florentino in Street Scene and Eva from An Embarrassing Position. Crystal has also been the Soprano soloist for numerous oratorios, such as John Rutter's Requiem and Magnificant, and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and The Creation. Crystal spent the summer in Italy singing with the La Musica Lirica Opera Company singing in the Chorus of La Traviata and sang the role of Adina in L'Elisir D'amore. She also sang on several concerts while in Italy. Crystal is a member of the New Orleans Opera Chorus. Last semester, Crystal sang Sussana in The Marriage of Figaro in Xavier Opera Workshop. Crystal is also a soloist and chorus member at Trinity Episcopal Church. After her completion of her degree at Xavier, Crystal plans on continuing her operatic studies in a graduate school program. Crystal currently studies with operatic soprano Dara Rahming. Crystal is a member the National Opera Association, NAACP and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.
Kendrick D. Williams, baritoneDr. Claude Dupre in our production of Minette Fontaine, Mr. Williams is a native of Bennettsville, South Carolina. He holds a Bachelor
of Arts Degree in Music from Claflin University in Orangeburg, SC and has a Master's Degree in Music Performance at Loyola University in New Orleans,
Louisiana. He is a young baritone with a big repertoire that includes works by Schumann,
Mozart, Donizetti, Thomas, Rossini, Haydn, and Monteverdi. Kendrick has been afforded a wide
range of performance opportunities, while also giving back to the community by doing various
recitals and concerts.
In the 2010 - 2011 season he performed the operatic role of Jake in Gershwin's Porgy &
Bess with the Claflin University Lyric Opera program, Bass soloist for Handel 's Messiah
presented by the Claflin University Concert Choir. Williams also competed in the 2010
Atlanta Heritage Festival Solo Spiritual Competition where he finished fifth. Continuing with the Claflin University Lyric Opera program in the 2011 - 2012 season
Kendrick delivered the roles of Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, and King Melchoir in
Menotti's Amahl & the Night Visitors. Competing statewide and on the regional level He
received first place in the 2012 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition
and second place in the 2012 Mid-Atlantic Regional round. In 2011 Kendrick was named the
first place winner for the state of South Carolina in the National Association of Negro
Musicians (NANM ) scholarship competition.
After Performing the role of Simone in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi in the 2012 - 2013 season,
Williams decided to make musical theater an extension to his musical career appearing in Alice
Walker's The Color Purple, singing the theatrical role of Mister, also the role of The
Ghost of Christmas Future in Christmas is Comin' Uptown with the Claflin University Theater
While being enrolled at Loyola University New Orleans, Kendrick is involved with the
Loyola University Opera Theater Company, as well as the New Orleans Opera Chorus. During
the 2013-14 academic year at Loyola Kendrick was heard as the Speaker in Loyola Opera
Theatre's production of The Magic Flute and performed in excerpts from Trouble in Tahiti (Sam)
and Les Contes d'Hoffmann (Dapertutto) on the H2Opera! scenes program. As a member of the
New Orleans Opera Chorus he was seen onstage in the company's 2014 productions of La
Bohème and Carmen. More recently Kendrick competed as a semi-finalist in the Giulio Gari
International Vocal Competition in New York
Brandon Richardson, baritone
Brandon, Resident Baritone, made his debut with OperaCréole in 2012. He sang the roles of Madame DeNoyan's Guest and a French Market Vendor in our production of Minette Fontaine.
Prior to his tour of service with the U.S. Army in Iraq, the graduate of Northeast Louisiana University was a featured soloist at Cambridge University in England for the "Symposium of African American Composers" at the invitation of Dr. Akin Euba, composer of "Ornumela's Voices-Songs From the Beginning of Time".
Brandon has been heard in several roles for Shreveport Opera, to include the Physician in "Macbeth", Second Philistine in"Samson and Delila", Paris in "Romeo and Juliette", and A Capaddocian in "Salome". He was Ornumela in the 2002 World Premier of "Ornumela's Voices-Songs From the Beginning of Time" with the Jefferson Performing Arts Society.
The baritone has been a professional chorister with The New Orleans Opera Association since 2001, and has also performed as a soloist with the Northlake Performing Arts Society. He has studied voice with Louis Nabor at University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Steve Rushing at Southeast Louisiana University.
Our wonderful pianists!
Wilfred Delphin, DMA
Our Founding and Principle Pianist, and rehearsal coach was recently honored with a Lifetime Achie,vement Award from the Tribute to the Classical Arts Awards. and a Recognition Award from the Louisiana Creole Research Association, for his contribution to the Arts and the greater good of the community.
Dr. Wilfred Delphin, one half of the internationally renowned piano duo Delphin and Romaine, retired from the Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) School of Music in 2004. He volunteered with the United States Peace Corps for several months in the West African country of Senegal after his retirement, leaving that country for New Orleans to help with the recovery effort after Hurricane Katrina.
Delphin debuted in 1977 at Carnegie Hall with Edwin Romaine. The two of them toured the United States, South America, Europe and Asia. After Romain passed in 1995, Delphin continued performing and teaching. His fans include former President Jimmy Carter, for whom he played a solo recital in the East Room of the White House. He is part of Baldwin Piano's "World's Best" promotion and is a South Carolina Arts Commission Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award winner. Currently, he is a faculty member and artist-in-residence in the Department of Music at Xavier University of Louisiana in New Orleans, where he is also an alumnus.
Ronald Joseph, Resident Pianist
Mr. Joseph was the pianist for our 2015 production of Minnette Fontaine. He is a music teacher, and New Orleans native. He holds a B.A. in music from Bard College, and is currently working toward an Master of Music at the University of New Orleans. He studied piano at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and as an active performer has appeared with the Bard Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the American Symphony Orchestra.
A winner of the Junior Philharmonic Society Competition and the Ursuline Bach Festival, he was a semifinalist in the PianoArts competition in Milwaukee, WI and was featured in the PBS show "From the Top Live at Carnegie Hall".
As a teacher, Ronald has worked with the Irvin Mayfield School of Music, Young Audiences of Louisiana, and the fledgling NOCCA Music Preparatory program.
Dr. Marcus St. Julien, guest pianist
Dr. St. Julien has often accompanied our founder and singers during our summer tours throughout Louisiana. He is a native of New Orleans, where his training included piano study
with Marie Théard
and organ study with Anne L. Ganucheau,
Elise Cambon and Herndon Spillman. He holds the Bachelor of Music degree in organ
performance from Loyola University, and the Master of Music degree in music
theory from Indiana University. Dr. St. Julien earned the Doctor of Musical
Arts degree in organ performance from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice
University, under the direction of Clyde Holloway.
From 1983 to 2004 Dr. St.
Julien was Organist-Choirmaster at the Church of St. Thérèse of Lisieux in
Sugar Land, Texas, and played for many functions of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese
of Galveston-Houston. In April of 1992 he won first prize at the graduate level
of the twenty-first annual Wm. C. Hall Pipe Organ competition in San Antonio,
Texas. He has been heard in recital throughout the
South, including a program for the 1989 national convention of the Organ
Historical Society in New Orleans, as well as the dedication recital of the
Dobson pipe organ at St. Joseph's Abbey in Covington, Louisiana in 2001. His
recording of the St. Joseph?s Abbey dedication program was released in 2004 by
Dr. St. Julien is an Assistant Professor of organ,
music theory and voice in the College of Music and Fine Arts at Loyola
University in New Orleans. He is the organist and choir director of Temple
Sinai Reform Congregation, and organist of Rayne Memorial United Methodist
Church. He has presented five previous faculty recitals for Loyola University,
including the complete organ works of César Franck in a three-part recital
series jointly sponsored by Loyola and Temple Sinai.
The Bahamian-born soprano made her OperaCréole debut in the title role of Minette Fontaine in our 2015 production.
Dara Rahming received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Xavier University of Louisiana and a Masters of Music from the University of Miami. Soon after completing her education she sang her first contracted role in her native Bahamas singing the role of Ginain the Bahamian Opera 'Our Boys' composed by Cleaphas Adderley. Our Boys', commissioned by the Bahamian government, in 1998, for the celebration of the Bahamas 25th year of Independence was a first for the country and a great success. Since then Ms. Rahming has performed with numerous opera companies in the United States and Europe. She has sung with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and performed in the revival of Scott Joplin's 'Treemonisha' and the revision of Dominick Argentos' Miss Havisham's Fire with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. In 2004 Dara sang the role of Medora in Verdi's Il Corsaro', with the Sarasota Opera and went on to sing her first Tosca with the same company later that season. The Sarasota Opera duly recognized her hard work by making her the recipient of the Daniel R. Mandelker and Marlene N. Harris Fund Grant. That summer she sang the role of Serena in the Gershwin's Porgy and Bess' at the Linz Landestheatre in Linz, Austria. Later that year, she performed the same role at the Bunkamura Orchestra Hall in Tokyo, Japan and the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Germany.
Chauncey Packer, tenor
American tenor Chauncey Packer, first honored OperaCréole by joining in concerts in 2014. He is an exciting talent on the stages of opera houses in Europe and the United States.
In recent years, Mr. Packer has performed the roles of Steuermann DER FLIEGENDE HÖLLANDER with New Orleans Opera, Amon AKHNATEN with Atlanta Opera, Alfredo LA TRAVIATA with Pensacola Opera, and Rodolfo LA BOHÈME with Mobile Opera. This young tenor is highly in-demand for his captivating portrayal of Sportin' Life PORGY AND BESS. In 2011 he sang the role inder the baton of Maestro Lirin Maazel to rave reviews. He has also performed the role with San Francisco Opera, New Orleans Opera, Atlanta Opera, Opera Birmingham, Mobile Opera, Opera Grand Rapid, Pensacola Opera, Tulsa Opera and in many major European cities with the Munich-based New York Harlem Productions tour.
He has performed PORGY AND BESS in Japan and with an additional tour with Opéra Comique where he sang Mingo and covered Sportin' Life in Paris, Caen, Granada and Luxembourg. He is also featured on the PORGY AND BESS recording conducted by John Mauceri with Nashville Symphony, released in 2006 on Decca.
In addition to the companies aforementioned, Mr. Packer has also performed with the Utah Festival Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Shreveport Opera, Nashville Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and LSU Opera in such roles as Pinkerton MADAMA BUTTERFLY, the title role in WERTHER, Pong TURANDOT, Sam SUSANNAH, Ruggero LA RONDINE, Dr. Blind DIE FLEDERMAUS, Revival Singer ELMER GANTRY, Tamino DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, Edmondo MANON LESCAUT, Larry/Matt THE FACE ON THE BARROOM FLOOR, Arturo LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR, Remendado CARMEN, and Beppe PAGLIACCI.
He has also performed concerts with Edmonton Opera, Opera Noire of New York, Baton Rouge Symphony, Mobile Symphony, Gulf Coast Opera, New River Valley Symphony, Grand Rapid Symphony, and Pensacola Symphony, in such works as Haydn PAUKENMESSE, Bruckner TE DEUM, Schubert MASS IN G MAJOR, Handel MESSIAH, Beethoven MASS IN C MAJOR and NINTH SYMPHONY.
Mr. Packer has been the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the Huel Perkins Fellowship at Louisiana State University for doctoral studies. He has won several vocal competitions including National Associations of Teacher's Singing Competition, Rose Palmai-Tenser Competition, and Shreveport Singer of the Year, and was a finalist in Ducrest International Competition. He placed several times in the regional finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and in 2005, won at the regional level and was a national semi-finalist.
Chauncey Packer is originally from southern Alabama where he received his undergraduate degree from University of Mobile and his master's degree in music from University of New Orleans.
Mr. Packer is featured on New World Record's TREEMONISHA recording in the role pf Remus with Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. This recently released recording is receiving top critical acclaim by The New Yorker, BBC Music Magazine and countless others.
Mr. Packer's future engagements include concerts with Boston Symphony Orchestra and the premiere of an opera commissioned about the historic 1960's civl rights bus rides to New Orleans entitled FREEDOM RIDES in New Orleans.
Eldric Bashful, tenor
A native of New Orleans, LA, Eldric, a founding singer with OperaCréole, has traveled the world with his music, enjoying a varied career on the performing stage.
Between Kansas City and New York City, he was a frequent soloist with Unity Temple on the Plaza, Unity Church of New York and Unity Center of Vero Beach, FL. Other concert soloist performances in such venues as the Metropolitan Museum with Opera Ebony, Avery Fisher Hall, former member of Spiritus Ensemble and numerous other stages throughout Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland and recently Italy.
Recent roles: Cavalleria Rusticana (Turiddu); Cosi Fan Tutte (Ferrando); La Bohème (Rodolfo); Dialogue des Carmélites (Father Confessor); Amahl and the Night Visitors (King Kaspar); The Rape of Lucretia (Male Chorus). Other roles in preparation: MacBeth (Macduff); Rigoletto (Duke); L'Elisir d'Amore (Nemorino); Porgy & Bess (Sportin Life).
Awards: Arizona NATS-LV 1st Place Winner 2009, NATS 2nd Place Winner 2006; Lexington Opera Society Scholarship 2005; American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) Meistersinger 8th Place Winner 2003; Jerry Herman Foundation Winner 2006.
Currently studying under the guidance of tenor Dr. Alfonse Anderson of University of Nevada Las Vegas, Eldric holds a Master?s of Music Opera Performance from Arizona State University.
Teachers/coaches: Janna Ernst (New Orleans Opera), Louis Salemno (Washington National Opera), Laurie Rogers (Opera Company of Philadelphia ), Carole FitzPatrick (ASU), David Britton (ASU), Gustavo Halley (UMKC), Wayne Sander (Opera Ebony), Everett McCorvey (UK), Dale Dreyfoos (ASU), Beaumont Glass, Bodo Igesz.
Romel Brumley-Kerr, bass-baritone, is the first Afro-Costa Rican male Opera Singer in Costa Rican history. He began singing as a boy soprano as an early age with the order of the Hermana Oblatas de Siquirres Limon, Costa Rica. The baritone is a successful artist who won the second prize of the vocal competition by the Association of the Negro Business Women's Club INC of the district of New Jersey. This same association indulged him with the honor to sing at Carnegie Hall and then proclaimed him as an emerging young artist in February 2007.
While in New York, Mr. Brumley-Kerr performed as a soloist in the Messiah by Handel, Rossini?s Stabat Mater, Faure?s Requiem, Theodore Du Bois' The Last Word of Christ, and Felix Mendelssohn?s Elijah. Mr. Brumley-Kerr has participated in several important opera programs in New York City. He was part of the prestigious Martina Arroyo Program in which he learned and performed the role of Figaro from Le Nozze Di Figaro by Mozart under the direction of Legendary Soprano Martina Arroyo in 2007. In the same year, he sang with the prestigious Pacific Opera in New York singing twice at Carnegie Hall and the Golden Hall in NYC. He was member of The Long Island Opera workshop in which he performed the role of Marco in Puccini?s Gianni Schicchi.
After coming to University of New Orleans, studying under Dr. Raquel Cortina, he reprised the role in Gianni Schicchi, sang the role of Tom in Henry Mollicone?s Face on the Barroom Floor, and Hansel and Gretel.
Romel has been a member of the New Orleans Opera Chorus since 2004.