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The premier opera company bringing history to life in New Orleans

OperaCréole Givonna Joseph and Aria Mason, Founders


The Dames of OperaCreole

Scalawag Magazine.

October 2017 Treemonisha Press

Review: "Treemonsha Dazzles" 

May 28, 2017 

Our founder is interviewed on NPR

A New Orleans Company Shines A Light On Opera's Diverse History

May 18, 2017 

The New Yorker

2015 Articles: OperaCréole is in the top 5 Best things to do this weekend!..May 18th concert at Marigny Opera House!

OperaCreole nominated for Classical Arts Award!

OperaCreole on WWL-TV

Opera Creole singers from left to right: Aria Mason, mezzo-soprano, Crystal Morris, soprano, Givonna Joseph, mezzo-soprano and founder, Ivan Griffin, bass, Tyrone Chambers, tenor, and Brandon Richardson, baritone...not shown Valerie Jones Francis, soprano., and Wilfred Delphin, piano.  This is a snippet of a scene from the lost opera "Thelma" written by Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor...King Olaf sings "In Days of Old"

OperaCréole founder honored in WWNO Radio interview July 19, 2012

WWNO Radio 89.9 FM has introduced a new show called "Muisc Inside Out" which is designed to feature artists whom they feel are the standard bearers for New Orleans Culture.

As the founder of OperaCreole Ms. Givonna Joseph was featured in the third show.

Review: John Boutte with OperaCreole at Jazz Fest!

John Boutte takes 'Hallelujah' in a new direction at New Orleans Jazz Fest

Published: Saturday, May 05, 2012, 7:51 PM      Updated: Sunday, May 06, 2012, 10:08 AM

Susan Langenhennig, The Times-Picayune By Susan Langenhennig, The Times-Picayune

At his 2011 performance at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, John Boutte brought a hush to the crowd with a soft, slow, shiver-inducing rendition of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." This year, he did it again, but took the song in a wholly different direction.

John Boutte at the New Orleans Jazz FestKeith I. Marsalek/NOLA.comJohn Boutte performs at the Jazz Tent during the New Orleans Jazz Fest on Saturday, May 5, 2012.

Performing Saturday afternoon to an adoring crowd in the WWOZ Jazz Tent, Boutte turned Cohen's heartbreaking lament into a jazzy ballad, adding soul and spirit to the soaring high notes.

Backed by the lilting voices of the OperaCreole chorus and a stage full of standout musicians, including Wendell Brunious on trumpet, Boutte took hold of the familiar song and, with masterful helmanship, steered it into uncharted territory.

The somber chorus rose to lifting trumpets and drums.

Out in the seats, the crowd shifted and turned, pulled by the music and stilled by the lyrics. As Boutte's final notes lifted into the air, the audience erupted, holding a standing ovation for several minutes.

Boutte, wiping the sweat from his brow, gave an impish grin and tipped his straw hat. It was a performance that illustrates why Boutte is one of New Orleans' most beloved troubadours.

"Hallelujah" is one of the tracks on Boutte's new "All About Everything" CD. It was also the highlight of his power-packed, hour-long Jazz Fest set.

Dressed in island garb (white slacks, batik-print shirt), Boutte seemed in a tropical mood, infusing a little soft shoe into a set filled with his own songs, those by Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint and other greats, and a poignant spiritual translated from Portuguese.

Halfway through the show, he called up the OperaCreole singers, a group of four women and one man, all dressed in white (the ladies with hibiscus flowers in their hair), each with powerful operatic voices.

As Boutte took a seat, they taught the audience a few phrases of Creole French for a sing-along to a folk song called "Chere Mo Lemme Toi."

Dedicated to Boutte, the words, as translated, went a little like this:

"Dear I love you so,"

"With all my heart, I love you dear,

"Like a little pig loves mud."

Of course, it sounded a little more lyrical in French.

Laughing as he took back the mic, Boutte kept the mood light, segued into Titus Turner's "Grits Ain't Groceries," a hilarious bluesy little ditty:

"If I don't love you baby," he sang.

"Grits ain't groceries,

"Eggs ain't poultry,

"And Mona Lisa was a man."

And that's the way things went, arcing from soft and moving, to rollicking and foot-stomping, as the set wound to its big crescendo.

Slipping into an Elvis-in-Vegas-style coat, bedazzled with sequins, the words "Treme" written in sparkles across his back, Boutte grabbed his tambourine, gave a pump of his fist and launched into a song that he wrote in 2003, long before a certain HBO show made it famous.

"Down in the Treme

"Just me and my baby

"We're jamming and having fun."

Not one person left that tent without humming that tune.

© 2012 All rights reserved.

November 17th OperaCréole performs for the French Ambassador to the U.S.

OperaCréole members, Givonna Joseph, Director,and Aria Mason with The French Consul Général of New Orleans Jean-Claude Brunet (left)and French Ambassador to the U.S. François Delattre (rt) at the Eiffel Society

Semaine Française was presented by the Consulate General of France in New Orleans, the French-American chamber of Commerce-Gulf Coast Chapter, the Alliance francaise of New Orleans and the forum francophone des affaires. Semaine Française has the support of all the French and French-American organizations in New Orleans and partnered with most of the city’s institutions including the city of New Orleans, the Council for the Development Of French language In Louisiana (CODOFIL) the Port of New Orleans and Tulane University. 

Times Picayune August 16,2011

To read the full article, go to


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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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