Saturday, April 30, 2011

OperaCréole Debuts May 21 With Music of Edmond Dédé, Lucien Lambert, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges & William Grant Still

The Louisiana Creole Research Association
The Catholic Cultural Heritage Center

in their Inaugural concert
6-8 p.m. Saturday May 21, 2011
at the historic Saint Mary's Church
adjacent to the Old Ursuline Convent
The French Quarter, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Givonna Joseph, mezzo-soprano, Director
Aria Mason, mezzo-soprano
Vickie Thomas, soprano
Crystal Morris, soprano
Tyrone Chambers, tenor
Romel Brumley-Kerr, bass-baritone

Wilfred Delphin. piano
special guest, Marcus St. Julien, organ

The Louisiana Creole Research Association, or LA Creole, is dedicated to preserving Creole culture through historical/genealogical research, educational programs, and celebrations.

New Orleans is the First City of Opera, presenting the first opera in America on May 22, 1796. From the early nineteenth century, the city’s Creoles of color have been great supporters of opera, and composed and performed the finest classical music. For several decades, the organists of Saint Mary’s Church were among the members of the free Creole community. Among these organists, was Samuel Snaer, who composed a Mass for Three (male) Voices, which was widely known.

It was in Saint Mary's Church, that Venerable Henriette Delille, a free Creole of color, and the early Sisters of the Holy Family were solemnly professed in 1852.


(1) U.S. Premiere of scenes from La Flamenca by Lucien Lambert (1858-1945), the son of New Orleans free Creole composer, Charles Lucien Lambert (1828-1896) - who was one of three free Creole composers (including Snaer and Bares) who were organists at St. Mary's before leaving New Orleans. Lucien, fils studied with Massenet in Paris, and debuted La Flamenca at the Théâtre Gaité in Paris, 10 days after Herodiade opened the 1903 season. OperaCréole intends to present the full opera soon.

(2) Scenes and arias by other composers of color: Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, and William Grant Still will also be presented, as well as the work of Creole composers Edmond Dede and Samuel Snaer.

(3) The program will also pay tribute to N.O. African American opera pioneers, and Sr. Elise Sisson, SBS (formerly with The Met), who began the opera program at Xavier University in the 1940s.

Admission is free however, seating is limited. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit or

Givonna Joseph,
Director, OperaCréole
[Edmond Dédé (1827-1903); Lucien-Leon Guillaume Lambert, Jr. (1858-1945); Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799); and William Grant Still (1895-1978) are profiled at, which features a comprehensive Works List for William Grant Still by Prof. Dominique-René de Lerma of Lawrence University Conservatory]

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