Principal Roles (9 Singers)


DAVID HENNESSY (Baritone) – New Orleans Chief of Police. Assasinated October 16, 1890. 

MARGARET HENNESSY (Soprano) – David Hennessy’s widowed mother.


EMMANUELLE POLIZZI (Tenor) – a Sicilian immigrant in New Orleans, one of many accused for the murder of Hennessy.


IANIA ROMA (Soprano) – A Sicilian immigrant in New Orleans. Polizzi’s  wife.

MAMA ROMA (Mezzo-soprano) – Iania’s mother; the family’s matriarch.


ZIA FRANCESCA (Mezzo-soprano) – Iania’s maternal aunt.


CATARINA ROMA (Coloratura Soprano) – Iania’s younger sister. 

BILL O’CONNOR (Tenor) –  Representative of “Law,” a superintendent of a private detective force employed by the ruling classes of the city. 


WILLIAM PARKERSON (Bass-Baritone) – Representative of “Order.” Wealthy and influential New Orleanian. 

SATB Chorus (off- and on-stage, and/or pre-records)

Sicilian Immigrants,  police officers, residents of New Orleans, and the “Council of Fifty,” - A citizen’s committee tasked with collecting evidence and information pertaining to the assassination of the Chief. Some chorus members can may double as supernumeraries, as appropriate.

The principal roles can be cast separately, or from within an SATB ensemble. The chorus can operate in the Greek tradition as a quartet, as a large ensemble in the grand sense, be completely pre-recorded, or be employed in any combination as space and necessity allows. 

Flexible orchestrations options
  • "New Orleans Traditional" (clarinet, trumpet, trombone, guitar/banjo, piano, contrabass, vibes and trap kit) 
  • Chamber orchestra -, git/bjo, pno/kbd, vibes, traps, string quintet
  • Full pit orchestration -, git/bjo, pno/kbd, vibes, traps, str.) 
Ten years after the incidents depicted in this opera (and in the same city),  Jazz was born from a mixture of African, Caribbean, and European musics. The soundworld of the opera reflects the swirling (sometimes conflicting) cultural influences that underpin not only the clash of cultures that led to this tragedy, but also the musical identity of America at the time - strained and combative, unique and beautiful.
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© Copyright 2020 Frank Pesci