Givonna Joseph

Givonna Joseph

Coloratura Mezzo-Soprano

Specializing in the historical and operatic legacy of New Orleans, the First City of Opera in America!
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«Givonna, the audience at the Jazz and Heritage Festival took great delight in your entire presentation. You always look like you're having so much fun onstage -- people pick up on that. With your ebullience, verve and sass, you end up changing people's view of opera as stiff or dull. It was great exposure for you and your group OperaCreole); but the audience in (and outside!) the tent were the true beneficiaries. They came away with an unexpected pleasure -- hearing a group honor culturally-rich, historically-significant music but also deliver the goods by collaborating with a local legend, such as John Boutte, on a song from the recent past. You won them over. Sometimes that is the best kind of pleasure for an audience -- to be thoroughly entertained by something they had not expected. Lynette Johnson»
website (2018)
«Excellent CD with phenomenal breadth and scope of artistry. author: Ben Luera Givonna's extraordinary performances of some of the most beautiful sacred music ever written is a heart-felt expression of deep faith in God and the goodness of humankind.»
website (2018)
«Givonna Joseph is bringing opera to a new audience and also bringing the works by people of color, nearly erased from history, back into the spotlight.»
southern Living Magazine (2018)
2017Handel: Messiah, HWV 56Alto
2010Gershwin: Porgy and BessLily
2002Gershwin: Porgy and BessLily


Ms. Givonna Joseph is deeply committed to the culture of New Orleans, city of  her birth. This is most evident in her lectures and concerts on 19th Century classical music of  New Orleans Free People of Color, and in her appearance on "Le Grand Tour, Quebec,Louisiana", a French documentary.
The mezzo-soprano, Founder and Director of  award winning  OperaCréole, was recently honored as one  of  Southern Living Magazine's "Southerner of The Year 2017", along with her daughter, Aria Mason. 
Ms. Joseph was 1 of 5 finalists in the Arts-Based Business Pitch at the 2017 New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. Additional honors include being  interviewed by The New Yorker,  and NPR in promotion of OperaCreole"s production of La Flamenca. 
Ms Joseph sang the role of Leonor in La Flamenca, and Marie Laveau in OperaCreole's 2015 production  of William Grant Still's Minette Fontaine. 
She was also seen in the role of "Sylvia" in the New Orleans premiere of the new opera"Wading Home, an opera of New Orleans"  by Mary Alice Rich based on the novel by Rosalyn Story. The performance  starring Donnie Ray Albert was in remembrance of the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. And was Alto Soloist for Messiah with The Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, at the Orpheum Theater.
She has been honored as a standard bearer for Louisiana culture with a profile interview on WWNO Radio/NPR, and as the recipient of the 2012 Louisiana Creole Research Association Recognition Award.
Ms. Joseph has performed with New Orleans Opera in roles such as "Lily" in "Porgy and Bess",one of the three "Abati" in "Manon Lescaut", and and one of the Gossips inNoah's Flood. She is also a member of the professional chorus.
In addition to performing , the multifaceted award winning artist is a private vocal instructor, a Master Teaching Artist with Young Audiences of Louisiana,  a teaching artist with  New Orleans Opera's "MetroPelican" program, a writer, and public speaker.

Ms. Joseph has performed in concert at such venues as The American Church In Paris  in Paris, France and La Chiesa di Santa Susanna in Rome, Italy.  She has been a soloist with the William Grant Still Orchestra,  the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, and  as a cantor for Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's New Orleans visit. In the 2006-2007 season, she was a chorister with Houston Grand Opera . The creator of "WomanSong", a one woman show, she was also heard as an opening artist for Ray Charles in Concert at Jones Hall in Houston, TX.
Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Givonna served as Music Director/Cantor at St. Rose of Lima Church, and Director of Education for the  Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.
She has served as cantor  at Holy Name of Jesus  Catholic Church on St. Charles Avenue, and at many other churches around the city.
Ms. Joseph, a Loyola University alumna, has studied with Charles Paddock, Philip and Ellen Frohnmayer, George Shirley (Metropolitan Opera, University of Michigan), Patricia O'Neill (LSU), and Kathleen Kaun (Rice University). 
The arts advocate is also a member of LA Creole (Louisiana Creole Research Association)  and the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA).
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CV & Repertoire

Musical Work Role Jump-in ready? Company Year
Handel: Messiah, HWV 56 Alto 1 week 2017
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess Lily 1 week 2010
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess Lily 1 week 2002


Tribute to the Classical Arts Awards
recognition : Louisiana Creole Research Ass.
southerner of the Year