YA Charter School - Learn More
Subscribe to our Newsletters   Make a Donation   Facebook Twitter You Tube Flickr

The Role of Opera in the Birth of Jazz

This journey through 19th and 20th Century New Orleans focuses on the musical contributions of free people of color to opera and classical music, and how the multicultural musical environment that included opera, classical music, and African rhythms served as the perfect incubator for new music. Opera had a great influence on Jazz fathers like Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong.


Givonna Joseph


Please contact us to inquire about rates.

Technical Needs

This performance requires a laptop and projector with screen.

Study Guide

No study guide is currently available online for this performance offering

About Givonna Joseph

As Founder and Director of OperaCréole, 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 OperaCréole founder, was recently covered by The New Yorker, and NPR. She was also 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.

Ms Joseph sang the roles of Leonor in OperaCréole's productions of La Flamenca, and Marie Laveau, in her 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.

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.

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.

Click Here to Learn More About Givonna Joseph


Audience for this Offering

Grade Level/s

5th Grade
6th Grade
7th Grade
8th Grade
9th Grade
10th Grade
11th Grade
12th Grade


African American Studies
Louisiana Culture
Multicultural Studies
Social Studies

Art Genre/s




Copyright © 2011-2020 Young Audiences of Louisiana, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Site Created and Maintained by Jean-Paul Gisclair.