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Defender Picks

 

JEUDI

May 25th

Soft Opening

Royal Brewery, 11AM

Come celebrate the opening of NOLA’s newest brewery

 

Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans

Royal Street, FQ, 11AM

Doreen Ketchens and her band

 

Jazz in the Park

New Orleans Armstrong Park, 4PM

Music by Honey Island Swamp Band + Hot 8 Brass Band

 

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum of Southern Art, 6PM

Featuring the funky sounds of Margie Perez

 

Conversation: On Cecilia Vicuña

Contemporary Arts Center, 7PM

Discussion on the “About to Happen” exhibition

 

JD Hill & The Jammers

Bar Redux, 8PM

R&B, rock blues, and everything in between

 

Luke Winslow King

Tipitina’s, 9PM

Support by The Washboard Rodeo

 

Dave Easley

Neutral Ground Coffeehouse, 10PM

Witness one of the city’s best guitarists

 

VENDREDI

May 26th

Bayou Country Superfest

Mercedes Benz Superdome, 11AM

Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts and many more

 

Magazine St. Art Market

Dat Dog, 4PM

Happy hour + local art

 

Royal Street Stroll

200-900 Blocks of Royal St, 530PM

Led by the Krewe of Cork

 

YP Family Game Night

Urban League of Greater New Orleans, 6PM

Game night for young professionals and their families

 

Toonces and Friends

Marigny Opera House, 7PM

An orchestral journey through time

 

Spektrum Fridays

Techno Club, 10PM

Featuring J.DUB’L and residents Erica and Rye

 

New Thousand + Adrian

Balcony Music Club, 11PM

Violin centered hip hop

 

Free Music Series

Fulton Ally, 10PM

Featuring Bubl Trubl


Flood of Participation

New Orleans Opera's ‘Noye’s Fludde,’ Reviewed



On Friday, the New Orleans Opera Association presented its first of a three performances of Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde to a full house at Trinity Episcopal Church.

 

By staying true to the British composer’s original staging, which makes equal use of expert and amateur performers and encourages audience participation, operagoers were offered something quite different from anything they may have experienced in the Association's usual home at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre. With the sublime score, remarkable talent from professional cast and musicians, and clear enthusiasm from wholehearted newcomers, NOOA’s rendering of Noye’s Fludde made for an immensely gratifying night of opera.

 

The air in Trinity Episcopal Church was electrified as patrons took to the pews. As the principles from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra tuned up, their fellow musicians from Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra and Ursuline Academy Recorder Consort prepped at their confined stations. Smartly dressed in a tuxedo, Treyvon Johnson, a sixth grade student at St. Joan of Arc in LaPlace, tested his wind machine. Next to him, LPO member Mary Ann Bulla and Loyola accompanist Yui Asano sat side-by-side at the piano. Minutes after 8 pm, concertmaster Byron Tauchi asked the pianists for an A, and director Robert Lyall strode to the podium.

 

Before the production began, Lyall encouraged the audience to sing along with the three chorales Britten wrote into Noye’s Fludde, explaining the community-based nature of the program. Then the lights dimmed and Lyall dropped the baton on first bars of the song, “Lord Jesus, Think On Me.” Britten’s elaborate and virtuosic orchestration of the centuries-old hymn, confidently performed by the orchestras, gave the audience a first glimpse into Britten’s preternatural genius. The audience got even closer to the music when Lyall turned toward the crowd and cued all to sing along.

 

The cast of professional singers carried the majority of the first half of the production. Noah, played with striking composure by gifted bass Arthur Woodley, was joined by his three sons and their wives—all performed with poise and flair by a cast of singers from New Orleans and the region. The hilarious and dynamic performance of Mrs. Noah was played by show-stealing mezzo-soprano Victoria Livengood. The earth-shaking voice of God was spoken offstage by WDSU senior news anchor Norman Robinson.

 

As the threat of the Flood grew nearer, choruses of children from 36 schools in the region joined the cast. Trumpets reverberated from the balcony, and two by two, children dressed as all manner of animals and insects galloped down the aisles singing (and squeaking), “Kyrie! Kyrie! Kyrie, eleison!”—delighting audiences with their costumes and voices. The performances of these opera starlets were remarkably sincere, with most immersing themselves into their roles. The young actresses playing the raven and dove (Lusher student Elijah St. Martin and Trinity Choir member Molly Kane, respectively) were rarely seen moving without flapping their wings.

 

As the story concluded with one last chorale, the Trinity Bell Choir rang out from the balcony and all members of each orchestra and choir were joined by the audience to sing “What Though in Solemn Silence All.” Before the orchestra could hit the final note, the performers were met with extended applause from the audience. Principals Woodley and Livengood received a standing ovation.

 

After the applause died down and the lights came up, young percussionist Marley Bogran, whose performance included striking coffee cups with a wooden spoon, gave a thumbs up to a member of the LPO. She responded with a smile and a nod.

 

New Orleans Opera Association has succeeded in a rather daunting undertaking: collaborating with a number of local organizations to present Britten’s elaborate Noye’s Fludde in a way that was technically straightforward, unfeigned, and a lot of fun to be a part of. It’s not to be missed.

 

NOOA’s presentation of Noye’s Fludde continues Saturday, November 16 at 8 pm and Sunday, November 17 at 2:30 pm at Trinity Episcopal Church (1329 Jackson Ave.). Tickets start at $20 for adults and $5 for children. Visit the NOOA website or call 504-529-3000 for more information.

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Contributors

Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily