This party, which will feature good food and drink and great performances by professional performers returning to Monroe from throughout the US, will take place in a fabulous new venue for the LA’Opera, the OUACHITA GRAND PLAZA BALLROOM, 501 S. GRAND, just down the street from Restaurant Cotton on the Ouachita River.
Performers include singing actors who have been featured in LA’Opera Valentine fund
raisers and productions that have been extremely popular in town since the Louisiana
Opera’s first show premiered five years ago.
Headlining the performance February 24 will be baritone COREY MCKERN, joined by BETSY USCHKRAT, TYLER SMITH, CLAIRE VANGELISTI, and RON ULEN. Joining the cast and making her Monroe debut is APRIL GOLLIVER, who visits our town from Oklahoma, where she is on the music faculty at Oklahoma State University and has significant credits throughout the United States.
These performers have sung leading roles in opera houses in the region, including The Shreveport and New Orlean’s Opera, as well as The New York City Opera and Opera Santa Fe.
A vital part of the cast will be the ensemble, consisting of ULM’s voice majors. Many of these students had roles in the university’s October performances of Sweeney Todd-and are also cast in this Spring’s university upcoming March performances of Pippin. The pianist for the event is our own RICHARD SEILER. Conducting is JEFFREY PETERSON, head of the Baylor University Opera, and the Director is LA’Opera founder MARK ROSS CLARK.
Clark, who has guest directed for the Taiwan National Theatre, Dorset Opera in England, and in Brazil-began the Louisiana Opera five years ago, under the auspices of the University of Louisiana in Monroe, where he has been head of opera since 2006. The productions of the opera are presented at ULM in the Emy-Lou Biedenharn Recital Hall, and allow the university and community to enjoy live operas, performed by professional singing actors who enjoy singing in Monroe and returning year after year. The productions also serve as opportunities for ULM vocal students to both participate with and learn from the singers who come to town, many of whom are professors in Texas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and New Orleans. The mission of the LA’Opera has been expanded this year to include live performances for schools, and also the retirement community in order to enrich the arts in the area. The fact that The Louisiana Opera in Monroe is producing such fine productions as one of only three opera organizations in the state, has brought more acclaim to our town, Monroe, that already possesses an abundance of arts organizations.
From the Trip Advisor online, a review after the Louisiana Opera performances of The
Barber of Seville, posted on June 25, 2015: “I likely won't look at opera the same way again. It strikes me that I have taken
my big city venues for granted. I was moved by the appreciation that all of these
people have for the art of opera. From the LA’Opera’s volunteers, to the production
staff, to the singers, and the audience, all people across the board made this a very
exciting, stimulating, and fun-filled experience for me and my family.”
-Trip Advisor, 2015
Come to see what the excitement is about, at the Louisiana Opera’s performance of Fledermaus on February 24 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ouachita Grand Plaza Ballroom. Join us to celebrate the joy of Mardi Gras with food and drink and memorable performances by a professional cast.
You can purchase your tickets at FIESTA NUTRITION on 1211 N. 18th Street in Monroe, or at the door.
Individual tickets are only $40, and a greater bargain even if you purchase a table for the event (seating eight), which costs $250. Call 342-3247 for more information.