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The premier opera company bringing history to life in New Orleans

OperaCréole Givonna Joseph and Aria Mason, Founders

Celebrating the African American contribution to opera in New Orleans!

About OperaCréole

OperaCréole Gala Founders

Classical Arts Awards 2018

Scott Joplin's Treemonisha 2017

Lucien Lambert's La Flamenca 2017

Opera and classical music in New Orleans and around the world have always included the contributions of persons of color. Since the 19th Century, Creoles of New Orleans have made contributions to the music and culture of New Orleans. It is their participation in opera, as well as the music of Africa, Spain, and Haiti that contributed to the birth of jazz.

Our non-profit, award winning company, founded in 2011 by the mother and daughter team of Givonna Joseph and Aria Mason, is dedicated to researching and performing lost or rarely performed works by composers of African descent. The company focuses in particular on works by 19th Century New Orleans free composers of color, and toward preserving and promoting Creole language and culture.

Creole means "native to the place":

In keeping with the spirit of the word Creole, OperaCréole's singers are professional artists, educators, and international soloists with roots in New Orleans, America's "First City of Opera!"

The company's groundbreaking work, including the 2017 production of the lost opera La Flamenca (1903) by Lucien Lambert, has been acknowledged nationally by NPR (National Public Radio), The New Yorker magazine, and the AfriClassical Blog. Our founders were also named among the Southerners of the Year 2017 by Southern Living magazine. The company has been the recipient of several awards for our contributions to the operatic arena.

The Louisiana Creole Research Association presented OperaCréole in its inaugural concert on May 21, 2011 at the historic St. Mary's Church next to the Old Ursuline Convent in the French Quarter.   

Some of our venues/contracts:        

  • Marigny Opera House
  • Music Box Village
  • N.O. Jazz and Heritage Festival
  • Amistad Research Center
  • The Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint
  • Council of French Societies
  • Louisiana Creole Research Association
  • Whitney Plantation/Slavery Museum
  • French Quarter Festival
  • Edgar (Dooky) and Leah Chase Foundation
  • Terrance Blanchard
  • N.O. Film Festival, "12 Years A Slave" premiere
  • Arts Council of New Orleans' "Community Arts Awards"
  • N.O. Jazz National Historical Park
  • Historic New Orleans Collection
  • Roots of Music Series: Ellis Marsalis Center for Music
  • University of Illinois- Artist in Residence.     

We present:

  • Major productions of operas by African American and other composers of color
  • Historically themed concert, including Creole Folksongs, and Jazz standards.
  • Fun performances for private corporate events, special events, and conventions
  • Educational presentations for all age groups
  • Conference lectures and symposiums.

We can tailor the number of singers to fit your budget when needed. Feel free to contact us with any questions!

Givonna Joseph, Founder and Director  

 music: "Chere Mo Lemme Toi" from N.O. Jazz and Heritage Festival 2012....OperaCreole

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"Kudos to Givonna Joseph and OperaCreole! We asked the OperaCreole ensemble come on as the musical guests on a live late night talk show which features New Orleanians. Hearing ..."

Cassandra Snyder

Co-Producer, The Good NIght Show with John Calhoun

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