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Tribute to the Classical Arts 2015 

The Big Easy Foundations salutes New Orleans’ best in opera, dance and classical music

click to enlarge Elizabeth Mantalas and Braedon Mason perform Love Story, choreographed by Monica Marie Ordonez.

Photo by Cheryl Gerber

Elizabeth Mantalas and Braedon Mason perform Love Story, choreographed by Monica Marie Ordonez.

Gambit's Foundation for Entertainment Development and Education (FEDE) — with the help of Musetta, the seductress of Puccini's La Boheme — announced winners of awards covering classical arts performances and presentations in 2014 at the 21st annual Tribute to the Classical Arts Awards at the Hotel Monteleone Jan. 29. In addition to recognizing achievement in classical music, opera and dance, special awards went to Diane Laizer Carney, the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music and Chevron.

  To celebrate the season of love and indulgence, Musetta (played by Sarah Jane McMahon) performed "Musetta's Waltz" at the top of the ceremony, pulling unsuspecting men from the audience and twirling them. The soprano hosted alongside WWL-TV news anchor Natalie Shepherd.

  A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Diane Laizer Carney, a lifelong dancer, choreographer and teacher. She taught theater classes at Tulane and Loyola universities and Delgado Community College and choreographed and designed productions for the Tulane Opera Theatre and Summer Lyric Theatre, UNO Theater, Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, Dashiki Theater and the Jefferson Performing Arts Society.

  Sally Perry of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), Jacques Rodrigue of the George Rodrigue Foundation, Jenny Hamilton of the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) and Taylor Landry, a student of NOBA, presented the Arts Patron of the Year Award to Chevron. All four presenters lauded Chevron's support for arts education.

  Ellis Marsalis accepted the Arts Education Award on behalf of The Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, whose after-school sessions serve more than 200 students every week with everything from homework help to dance classes. "We are a work in progress," Marsalis said in accepting the award. "We're only three years in existence. I hope I'll be around long enough to see the fruition."

  Six nominees performed during the luncheon, with pieces including dance, classical music and opera. Gambit, Anne Burr, Hall Piano Company, Uptown Costume & Dancewear, Coleman E. Adler & Sons and WWNO 89.9 FM Radio sponsored the event. Proceeds benefited FEDE.



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Tribute to the Classical Arts 2015
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Tribute to the Classical Arts 2015

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2015 Classical Arts Special Honorees

Lifetime Achievement Award
Diane L. Carney

Arts Education Award
The Ellis Marsalis Center For Music

Arts Patron Award
Chevron



Classical Arts Awards Winners

Best Classical Music Performance
2014: A Strauss Odyssey
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO)
Carlos Miguel Prieto, Conductor
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts

Best New Classical Music Presentation
Salve Regina
New Resonance Orchestra Chamber Ensemble
Tucker Fuller, Composer
Marigny Opera House

Best Opera Production
Rusalka
New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA)
William Murray, Director
Robert Lyall, Conductor
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts

Best Chamber Music Performance
The Soldier's Tale by Igor Stravinsky
LPO Chamber Concert
New Orleans Athletic Club

Best Choral Arts Presentation
Luceat: To the Creator of Light
New Orleans Vocal Arts (NOVA) Chorale
Holy Name of Jesus Church

Best Creative Achievement in Opera
Don Darnutzer, Lighting and Projection Design
Rusalka
NOOA
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts

Outstanding Ballet Presentation
Bandoneon Pas de Deux
Ballet Hysell
Loyola University, Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall

Outstanding Modern Dance Presentation
Selcouth Liaison
Maya Taylor, Choreographer
The Marigny Opera House Dance Company
The Marigny Opera House

Outstanding Contemporary Dance Presentation
Love Taps: An Evening of Romance & Rhythm
Heidi Malnar, Choreographe
Gulf Coast Theatre on Tap
Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Outstanding Ethnic Dance Presentation
34th Annual Spring Concert
Komenka Ethnic Dance & Music Ensemble
Loyola University, Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall

Outstanding Choreography, New Work
Touch-Me-Not
Diogo de Lima, Choreographer
Good Dance Since 1984
Marigny Opera House

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