The booming voices are back as the New Orleans Opera Association gets into the full swing of its new season. This month, performances of Barber of Seville take place at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Nov. 16 and 18. Set in Spain during the 17th century, the opera focuses on a maiden who’s forced into marriage, a handsome count in disguise, star-crossed love and the ingenious barber of Seville. The cast includes Deborah Domanski, Michele Angelini, Matthew Worth, Samuel Ramey and Thomas Hammons. Prior to the show is a lecture presented by Jack Belsom, archivist and historian for the Opera Association. Information, NewOrleansOpera.org.
The novel Les Misérables, published in 1862 by Victor Hugo, follows the lives of several characters that struggle in Paris in the earlier part of the 19th century. As a musical, the performance is haunting and beautiful, and celebrates the inner hero, fighter and survivor. Presented by Broadway, the show is performed Nov. 1-4 at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Information, MahaliaJacksonTheater.com.
“Where Do We Migrate To?” is an exhibition at the Contemporary Art Center that explores the ways in which migration, displacement and a the search for an overall sense of belonging have affected several contemporary artists. It celebrates the migrant as a role model who teaches us to recognize our present day selves and cherish our past and where we came from. The exhibition features projects of many varying types of media and will be on view until Jan. 20, 2013. Information, cacno.org.
Life on the Fringe
Dancers, actors and artists from near and far will flock to the fifth annual New Orleans Fringe Festival, which presents high-quality, original performances of all kinds, Nov. 14-18, at six locations around town. One of the highlights is Let Me Told You, presented by the Donley Dance Project. Jessi Donley, founder, is a Louisiana native who has choreographed a deeply personal endeavor, celebrating the life and legacy of her late cousin, Jimmy Donley, a rhythm-and-blues legend who performed songs of the Mississippi Delta. “Let Me Told You” can be seen on Nov. 14, 16, 17 and 18 at the Mardi Gras Zone Warehouse on Architect Street. For information on other performances, visit NOFringe.org.
How long have you been dancing? I have no memories of not dancing; I grew up integrated in South Louisiana music and dance: zydeco, swing-out and second-line … I started my formal training when I was on my own at 18. I studied dance at LSU and danced with several companies in Baton Rouge, Toronto and Washington, D.C. It’s in my blood; I can’t help it!
What kind of dance performance is this? This is a multidisciplinary live music, dance and theater production. It’s centered around the music of my late cousin Jimmy Donley, who was a prominent musician/song writer in the 1950s and ’60s in the Mississippi Delta Region. Also, there’s a Cajun dance scene. The show uses a lot of pedestrian movements in theatrical scenes to tell a story. The whole show is made up of 15 scenes that each have their own characters and stories. The music is played by live musicians. It’s been a goal of mine to create a work that involves Jimmy’s music. He was an amazing artist, and this project, to me, isn’t only a cultural preservation project but it’s also a way for me to connect with another artist in the Donley family. I have always felt a strong connection to Jimmy, and I wanted to make that connection into a work of art and that’s where “Let Me Told You” came from.
How did you get involved in the Fringe Festival? I choreographed and performed in a Fringe production last year, “Hip Hop is Alive,” and from there I decided, OK, this year I’m producing something!
What do you hope the audience gets out of this performance? I hope the audience leaves with an appreciation for Jimmy Donley’s music, and also an awareness of how powerful dance and music are when they communicate on the same stage. But most of all, I hope the audience leaves inspired!
Nov. 1-4, 8-11, 14-15, 19. Skin Horse Theater presents The Importance of Being Earnest; Contemporary Arts Center. Information, SkinHorseTheater.org
Nov. 2, 7, 9, 16, 20, 23. New Orleans Hornets home games; New Orleans Arena
Nov. 3. Mirliton Festival; The Brick Yard (Bywater). Information, BywaterMirlitonFestival.com
Nov. 3. Generationals in concert; Tipitina’s Uptown. Information, Tipitinas.com
Nov. 3. Bayou Blues Fest; UNO Lakefront Arena. Information, arena.uno.edu
Nov. 3-4. Louisiana Swamp Festival; Audubon Zoo. Information, AudubonInstitute.org
Nov. 4. Macklemore and Lewis “The Heist” World Tour; House of Blues. Information, HouseOfBlues.com
Nov. 5, 11, 25. New Orleans Saints home games; Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Information, NewOrleansSaints.com
Nov. 7. Bonnaroo Buzz Tour presented by Samsonite feat. White Denim with Maps and Atlases; One Eyed Jacks. Information, OneEyedJacks.net
Nov. 9. Movies In The Garden: The Incredible Shrinking Woman; Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at New Orleans Museum of Art. Information, noma.org
Nov. 12. Steel Pulse; House of Blues. Information, HouseOfBlues.com
Nov. 19. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation presents Chucho Valdes; The Joy Theater. Information, TheJoyTheater.com
Nov. 23-Dec 16. Southern Rep presents A Christmas Carol; Contemporary Arts Center. Information, SouthernRep.com
Nov. 24. Wiz Khalifa; UNO Lakefront Arena. Information, arena.uno.edu