UNO Faculty and Students Join the Ninth Ward Opera Company for Performances at UNO

The University of New Orleans hosts two performances on Saturday by The Ninth Ward Opera Company. The New Orleans-based nonprofit opera company, named for a city ward devastated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, is directed by UNO adjunct faculty and alumna Kathleen Westfall and includes several students, including graduate assistant Danielle Wilson.

The Ninth Ward Opera Company will perform two operas at 8 p.m. on Saturday, August 4 at UNO’s Performing Arts Center Recital Hall. The scheduled performances follow a Friday night performance at the Allways Lounge and Theatre on Saint Claude Avenue.

Tantalizing audiences, the opera company will first perform Cox and Box, a libretto written by F. C. Burnand with music by Arthur Sullivan. The one-act opera tells the story of two men who are living in the same apartment but do not know it. One man works during the day and one at night, so the landlord decided to take double the rent for the same space. The two men find out about the scam during the course of this opera -- and the results are bound to entertain.

(Also known as The Long-Lost Brothers, Cox and Box was renamed for the 1847 farce Box and Cox by John Maddison Morton – and was Sullivan's first successful comic opera. Sullivan composed the piece with Burnand in 1866, five years before he wrote his first opera with W.S. Gilbert, launching a 25-year partnership called Gilbert and Sullivan.The Victorian-era writing team of librettist W. S. Gilbert and composer Arthur Sullivan together wrote 14 comic operas between 1871 and 1896, including H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado.)

For their second performance at UNO, the Ninth Ward Opera Company will perform Trial by Jury, a well-known opera by Gilbert and Sullivan. Set in a court of law, a jilted Angelina sues her playboy fiancé Edwin for damages after he broke off their engagement. The opera includes a cast filled with comic characters determined to keep audiences laughing.