New Orleans Opera Association's general and artistic director Robert Lyall and chorusmaster Carole Rausch
Monday morning brought the light of day to the city's first weekend of major parading leading up to Fat Tuesday. Yet, the focus of a luncheon held at the Monteleone Hotel had little to do with Mardi Gras. It was, in fact, a celebration of the classical arts that brought 30 tables of opera, classical music, ballet and modern dance patrons together to spend two and a half hours together. WWL-TV anchorwoman Angela Hill served as emcee introducing a number of influential arts leaders who announced nominations and winners in several categories. These nominations were reduced from scores of concerts held throughout the previous year. Two separate committees chose nominees for Classical and Opera and Dance. The Big Easy Awards also maintain two other committees for their Theatre Awards and Music Awards ceremonies, which until a few years ago were held jointly. I am one of only two people who sit on two of the different nomination committees. Were I especially masochistic, I would have elected to sit on the Music Committee in addition to my other duties on the Classical and Opera and Theatre Committees.
Delta Festival Ballet executive director Joseph Giacobbe with his award
New Orleans Freinds of Music was also awarded a Big Easy Award on their 50th anniversary.