Givonna Joseph


As Founder and Artistic Director of the award-winning OperaCréole

Ms. Joseph’s research on 19th Century New Orleans free classical and operatic composers of color and Creole history and heritage has been featured in The New Yorker, Southern Living magazine.  She was previously honored as a “Standard Bearer ” of Louisiana culture on Le Grand Tour, a documentary for French TV and locally on Music Inside Out. Her most recent cover articles are in BreakThru Media Magazine and NOLA Boomers magazine.

Since 2011, the international soloist, arts integration specialist, and university lecturer, along with her daughter, Aria Mason, OperaCréole co-founder, has received awards for mounting lost or rarely heard operas by composers of color such as Samuel Coleridge Taylor’s Thelma, Williams Grant Still’s Minette Fontaine, Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, Lucien Lambert’s La Flamenca, and her original opera The Lions of Reconstruction: From Black Codes to the Ballot Box, written to celebrate New Orleans’ Tricentennial.

The former Education Director for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra was most recently featured in many educational documentaries, including Dillard University’s Ray Charles Center for Material Culture’s Legacy of American SlaveryNous NOLA’s Voices of Renewal, and on the recently released CD and documentary Songs of Slavery and Emancipation, speaking the Creole lyrics of Quarra Saint Malo about Jean Saint Malo’s 1783 Louisiana slave revolt.

She also teaches a new class for Loyola’s College of Music and Media called Opera, Classical Music, and Race. 

The mezzo-soprano has been featured in roles in many New Orleans Opera productions and serves on their Diversity Committee and Advisory Board. She also serves on the Membership Committee for Opera America. 

Ms. Joseph received the Torchbearers Award from the New Orleans Regional Chapter of The National Coalition of 100 Black Women in 2022.