Maestro Robert Lyall: New Orleans Opera 2018-2019 Season

Maestro Robert Lyall is the general and artistic director for the New Orleans Opera Company. In addition to his role as conductor, Maestro Lyall oversees every aspect of the creative process. One of the Maestro’s responsibilities as artistic director is to cast the operas. Prior to each season, Maestro travels to New York to hold auditions to cast the upcoming New Orleans’ operas. During the audition process, he listens to hundreds of singers to select just the right talent for each opera. 

In this podcast, Maestro Lyall describes the creative process and explains the complex organization and structure required to produce a successful performance. Regarding the physical demands of opera, Lyall notes that, “Singing opera is very difficult; it’s physically exhausting, and conducting a full performance of an opera is like putting a ten-hour day into three hours.” 

Many people believe the conductor’s role is limited to communicating with the orchestra. However, the Maestro explains that a great deal of ongoing communication takes place between himself and on-stage singers during the actual operatic performance. This  musical collaboration achieves the particular harmony that creates just the right emotion. 

Maestro Lyall also offers an informative synopsis of each of this season’s operas. 

The 2018-2019 season begins with Puccini’s "Turandot" on Sept. 28 and 30 at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Please visit for detailed information and to purchase tickets. 


Categories: New Orleans Voices, Theatre + Art