Nicholls Opera Workshop to Feature Classic Favorites

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Nicholls State University invites the community to come to campus for a night of opera performed by faculty, staff and students of all ages during the annual Nicholls Opera Workshop.

At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, and 3: p.m. on Sunday, May 1, “Intergenerational Influences for Impactful Outcomes” will feature various works from composers including Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti, Sigmund Spaeth, Engelbert Humperdinck and Dan Shore. Each performance will take place in the Mary and Al Danos Theater located in Talbot Hall.

“We are so very elated to bring the Nicholls State Opera Workshop back to the stage after two years because of circumstances beyond our control,” said Dr. Valerie Francis, associate professor of music and founder and executive artistic director of the Opera Workshop. “This year’s opera is very special in that we’re able to continue our vision to promote unity and diversity while celebrating the powerful and impactful results of students who believe and try. We believe that our motto, ‘Dare to be Different’ will be the powerful energy that drives the ultimate success in these performances. We encourage the public to attend as we celebrate and unveil the hidden treasures of our unique cast.”



Helping Dr. Francis are Casey Haynes and Dr. Raquel Cortina. Haynes is the workshop’s assistant artistic director and will serve as the evening’s conductor and pianist. Dr. Cortina, professor emeritus of music at the University of New Orleans, joined the team as an opera consultant.

Dr. Francis said another emerging theme of the night is the passing down of knowledge from generation to generation. Dr. Cortina is Dr. Francis’s voice teacher, and many of the students involved in the workshop are current and former students of Dr. Francis.

“This is our title in action. We have intergenerational influences making an impact on the next generation to generate positive outcomes,” Dr. Francis said.



The Opera Workshop is known for being a community affair and this year is no different. Participating in the performances are local elementary, middle and high school students, Nicholls faculty and alumni, guest artists, community performers and, new this year, students from the Nicholls Bridge to Independence Program.

The $10 tickets are available at the door and will support future productions and other musical student activities at Nicholls.