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Principal Roles (9 Singers)

IANIA COSTA (Soprano) – A Sicilian immigrant in New Orleans.


​EMMANUELE POLIZZI (Tenor) – Iania’s fiancé, often referred to as “Mani.”

DAVID HENNESSY (Baritone) – New Orleans Chief of Police.

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

​BILLY O’CONNOR (Tenor) – a superintendent of a private detective force, employed by the ruling classes of the city. 

WILLIAM PARKERSON (Bass-Baritone) – Wealthy and influential member of the city’s social and  political elite.

MAMA COSTA (Mezzo-soprano) – Iania’s mother


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


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

Ensemble (flexible size; minimum of four singers (SMTB)

Sicilian Immigrants,  police officers, the every-day residents of New Orleans, as well as the ruling Elite. The Ensemble serves in the traditional choral role, in comprimario roles, and as supernumeraries. The Ensemble can consist of as few as four singers, or multiplied as space and necessity allows (ideally 2-6 per part). 


Chamber Casting

The actors portraying Mama, Catarina, and Zia can be utilized as ensemble members. In this configuration, the addition of two tenors and two basses, and either Margaret or Iania, can form an 8-voice Ensemble for the larger choral moments.

Flexible orchestrations options
  • "New Orleans Traditional" - 8 players (clarinet, trumpet, trombone, guitar/banjo, piano, contrabass, vibes and trap kit) 
  • Britten-style Chamber - 16 players ( -, git/bjo, pno/kbd, vibes, traps, string quintet
  • Full pit orchestration - 19 players plus strings ( -, 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 opera is written in a musical language that reflects these frequently conflicting cultural influences, representing not only the clash of cultures that led to this tragedy, but also the burgeoning social and cultural identity of America at the time - strained and combative, unique and beautiful.
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