Maestro Robert Lyall is the General and Artistic Director of the New Orleans Opera Association. 

New Orleans’ long history of opera spans more than two centuries. According to Maestro Lyall, “The first documented opera performance in North America was given in New Orleans on May 22 of 1796.” Not only is this 2018 year the 300th anniversary of the founding of New Orleans, it is also the 75th anniversary of the New Orleans Opera Association.

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, on Friday, April 20 and Sunday, April 22, the New Orleans Opera Association will sponsor a magnificent production that will feature the 90-member New Orleans Opera Chorus and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, along with internationally-known stars and beloved Louisiana operatic talent.

In this podcast interview, Maestro Lyall explains the origins of opera and shares his thoughts about the future of opera in our rapidly changing world. In a happy coincidence, this year is also Maestro Lyall’s 20th anniversary as the General and Artistic Director of the New Orleans Opera.

For information on how you can help celebrate Maestro’s anniversary and 222 years of opera in New Orleans, visit



Listen to the podcast here.