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Loyola Hosts New Orleans Premiere of "Wading Home" with Two Free Weekend Concerts

Loyola press release - September 11, 2015

Grammy Award-winning Baritone and Louisiana Native Donnie Ray Albert, Loyola Chamber Singers, Chalmette School’s CHS Voices, Opera Creole join forces with Southern Methodist University

Loyola University commemorates the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this weekend by welcoming the New Orleans premiere of the opera Wading Home to its campus for two free concerts open to the public.

The intercollegiate performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, September 12, and at 3 p.m. Sunday, September 13, in Loyola’s Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, located at 6363 St. Charles Ave. in the College of Music and Fine Arts complex, second floor. They will benefit the New Orleans-based Roots of Music after-school tutorial program and The Bruce Foote Memorial Scholarship Foundation, Inc., a Dallas-based nonprofit program for singers.

Composed by Dallas-based Mary Alice Rich, the opera is based on the 2010 novel “Wading Home, A New Orleans story,” by Rosalyn Story, a violinist with the Fort Worth Symphony. This weekend’s intercollegiate performance stars Grammy award-winning baritone and Louisiana native Donnie Ray Albert as Simon Fortier, a retired chef whose musician son and other family members must cope with both the physical and emotional devastation of the storm.

The opera was performed in Dallas on April 2 and showcased Southern Methodist University music alumni and students. In New Orleans, that original cast will be joined by local forces: the Loyola Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Meg Frazier; the Chalmette Schools' CHS Voices, directed by Annelise Cassar; and mezzo-soprano Givonna Joseph, founder of OperaCréole. Forty singers from Dallas and 40 singers from New Orleans make up the cast. Dancers, young performers, a slide presentation of Katrina’s aftermath, together with an orchestra, join the stage.