NOOA’s New Year Opened with Tchaikovsky’s Joan of Arc

11:16 February 12, 2020
By: Kimmie Tubré

The New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) started the new year with a magnificent performance of Tchaikovsky's Joan of Arc. As the Patron Saint of New Orleans, her story is one filled with triumph and tragedy. It is a suspenseful story that, while well documented, has many conflicting and nonsensical factors. Of course, it all depends on who you're asking. While some tend to believe her story to be true, there are many sceptics. But whether you follow the tale of Joan of Arc or not, it is sure that she was a woman who fought for her country, lifting the siege of Orleans at the age of 17.

Known as the "Maid of Orleans," Joan of Arc was born during the height of the Hundred years' War. During adolescence, she began to make large claims of divine revelations, including hearing the voices of saints and making predictions. She became widely recognized for claims she made about the Dauphine, Charles becoming king and for forecasting the lifting of the siege of her village from the English. Not long after her heroic triumphs came tragedy. After being accused of demonic activity, she faced A lengthy trial which concluded in her death in 1431. At the time, Joan was only 19 years old.

The Performance, held at the Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts, was a dynamic demonstration of the life and accomplishments of Joan of Arc through genius of the musical performers of the Opera. With four acts and six set changes, Tchaikovsky's Joan of Arc opened with Thibaut of Arc played by Kevin Thompson (Bass) who is trying to marry his daughter off to a suitable fellow. His daughter Joan of Arc, played by Hilary Ginter (Mezzo-soprano), knows deep within that she has another calling and continues to follow it throughout the Opera.

Ginter's performance was outstanding. Her voice was strong and impactful. The Opera was directed by Jose Maria Condemi, and included a breathtaking cast of well-rounded and gifted vocalists. Some of the performers included Elana Gleason as Agnes Sorel (Soprano), Casey Candebat as King Charles VII (Tenor), and Michael Chioldi as Dunois (Baritone).

The music was performed by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of
Robert Lyall.

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