General Director’s Welcome

Give opera a try!

 

Welcome to Opéra Louisiane, the Capital City’s Opera Company, where our singers are world class, our performances are breathtaking, and our supporters are incredible! Join us for one of our passionate performances and you’ll see why so many people love opera. It will move you to tears, make your heart beat fast, and bring you to your feet. There’s nothing quite so powerful as hearing singers use their voices to the greatest capacity. No microphone necessary, no auto tune, just the pure, human voice, unamplified.

As a singer, keeping opera alive is important to me, and Opéra Louisiane allows me to play a role in that mission. I grew up in a small town in central Virginia. I listened primarily to country music growing up, and my grandmother taught me to play the piano. Like most children, I hated to practice! In sixth grade, Virginia Opera’s educational program came to our school. The group performed opera favorites and changed characters by pulling hats out of a box. I sat mesmerized by what I heard and saw. I was hooked. It would take me another ten years or so to really find the courage to pursue my operatic dream, but there is no doubt that those singers planted the seed. This is why I am so passionate about Opéra Louisiane and especially about our Young People’s Opera Program. It is a crucial tool for expanding the minds of our school children.

There are so many wonderful things that I would like to share about Opéra Louisiane, but here are the important historical highlights. This company is the result of a true visionary and some very hard workers. Our Founder and Past General and Artistic Director of Opéra Louisiane, Robert Grayson had the vision for professional opera in Baton Rouge. Co-founder Amanda Vincent recognized the need for an educational program and worked hand in hand with Mayor-President Kip Holden to create the Young People’s Opera Program. Since 2008, we have provided free opera and educational tools to over 35,000 students! Opera provides employment for musicians, designers, directors as well over 25 theatre professionals each year. Thanks to Russ and Melanie Chapman, Opéra Louisiane has an Endowment, started with their gift in 2016. As with all non-profits, Opéra Louisiane relies heavily on a board of directors; volunteers who oversee the operation of the company and fundraise the funds it requires to produce professional opera. The following individuals have served as Board Chair: Carole Marshall, Sue Rainer, Ken Nelson, Todd Schexnayder, Russ Chapman, Susan Leake and most recently, Monique Scott Spaulding. Our current board chair is Sean Matassa, a singer, dedicated board member and businessman.

I am so fortunate to work with the incredibly talented Michael Borowitz, our Artistic Director and Conductor. Michael brings a level of professionalism to Opéra Louisiane that is unsurpassed. His knowledge and experience allows us to attract top level singers, build an outstanding orchestra, and present varied productions such as a two hour adaptation of Wagner’s Ring Cycle and a full scale production of Bizet’s Carmen. Michael is truly a gift to this city!

Give opera a try. Put aside those stereotypes and experience for yourself the passion of the human voice. Join us!

Leanne P. Clement, DMA
General Director, Opéra Louisiane

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