New Orleans Opera Association Receives Major Grant from NEA for ‘Blue’

By David Salazar

The New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) has received a $25,000 award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support the southern premiere of Jeanine Tesori and Tazewell Thompson’s “Blue.”

The production by the New Orleans Opera Association is one of 1,130 projects selected nationwide for funding in the second round of Grants for Arts Projects in the fiscal year 2023, totaling over $31 million.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the National Endowment for the Arts for their generous support of our November production of Blue,’” said General and Artistic Director Clare Burovac in an official press statement. “The NEA’s commitment to fostering artistic excellence and promoting cultural enrichment has played a pivotal role in identifying great American opera, and we are truly honored by their invaluable contribution.” 

The production is set to premiere at the Mahalia Jackson Theater in New Orleans on Nov. 10 and 12, 2023. Kenneth Overton, Krysty Swann, Jonathan Pierce Rhodes, and Gordon Hawkins star with Michael Ellis Ingram conducting and Timothy Douglas directing.

Blue” has been performed at the English National Opera, Dutch National Opera, Glimmerglass Festival, Washington National Opera, Seattle Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Toledo Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre, among others.