Givonna Joseph's OperaCréole

Mar 28, 2013

Mezzo sopranos are often the bad girls of opera — the floozies, the gossips, the witches, the like. So how did a good girl like Givonna Joseph get mixed up with such characters? Turns out, bad girls have the most fun.

Joseph is a mezzo soprano and founder of a relatively new troupe in New Orleans called, OperaCréole.

Credit OperaCréole

She and her fellow singers tackle some of opera's most challenging works with gusto, including early compositions written by free people of color in the United States and Europe. So, in addition to Bizet and Puccini and Verdi and Gershwin, OperaCréole gives full attention to composers Andre Ernest Gretry, Edmond Dede, Lucien Lambert and Samuel Snaer, among others.

In doing so, OperaCréole is continuing one of the nation's longest running opera traditions. New Orleans was home to North America's first opera house.

But don't think that Joseph's interests are exclusively operatic. Tune in for her take on scat singing, Kathleen Battle, Mary J. Blige and James Brown. Yes, THAT James Brown. Tune in for perhaps the wildest opera duet of all time.


Have you seen the new Music Inside Out website? It's just a click away and filled with treats for your eyes and ears. 

And check out OperaCréole's schedule in April. 

Music Playlist

James Booker

Silvain: Overture
Andre Ernest-Modeste Gretry
Orchestre De Bretagne & Stefan Sanderling

Be My Love
Mario Lanza

This is a Man's World
James Brown & Luciano Pavarotti

Deep River
Givonna Joseph

Stormy Weather
Lena Horne

Bizet's Carmen 
Act 3: Voyons Que J'essaie A Mon Tour
Shirley Verret, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden & Sir Georg Solti

Un Ballo a Maschera
Saper Vorreste
Verdi Kathleen Battle, National Philharmonic Orchestra of London & Sir Georg Solti

Schubert Lieder (Der Tod Und Das Mädchen)
Marion Anderson

Belle Nuit, the Barcarolle from Les Contes d'Hoffman
Jacques Offenbach
Aria Mason, Givonna Joseph, OperaCréole

Scena from Ernestine
Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Valerie Jones Francis, OperaCréole

Family Affair
Mary J. Blige

Oh Lawd, I'm On My Way from Porgy and Bess

I Need Thee Every Hour
Givonna Joseph

James Booker

Silvain Overture
Andre Ernest-Modeste Gretry
Orchestre De Bretagne & Stefan Sanderling