Offbeat Podcast (EP 46): 9TH WARD OPERA COMPANY, NOUVEAU THEATRICAL

17 July 2013 — by Zachary Young

Nearly a year ago, classical vocalist and adjunct UNO professor Kathleen Westfall debuted the 9th Ward Opera Company, holding public performances of Burnand and Sullivan’s Cox and Boxand Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury for three nights in the first week of August. Conceived as an outlet for aspiring theatrical vocalists across the region, the enthusiastic turnout at the company’s initial showing prompted its founder to further pursue its mission. Since, the 9th Ward Opera Company has upheld a seasonal schedule, delivering two performances of a single act opera per night with each run and growing steadily along the way.

Kathleen Westfall, 9th Ward Opera Company, podcast, photo

 

With few opportunities to take the stage, the fledgling non-profit has gone on to attract budding vocalists from UNO, Loyola, Tulane, Dillard, Southern, South Eastern and LSU. Likewise, audience intrigue has grown beyond the Crescent City. Taking notice, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation awarded the 9th Ward Opera Company with a Community Partnership grant earlier this year, and the company’s forthcoming performance will mark its first with a budget. Tune in below to hear Westfall tell the 9th Ward Opera Company’s tale as well as for what it has in store for its July 25-28 Marigny Opera House showings of Gershwin’s first foray into opera, Blue Monday, and Xavier University professor Dan Shore’s New Orleans-themed composition An Embarrassing Position