‘Candide’ comes to Loyola opera troupe

New Orleans — The Loyola Opera Theatre will bring the work of American composer Leonard Bernstein to life with its new production of the fast-paced comic operetta “Candide” at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 and 3 p.m. Jan. 20.

Both performances will take place in Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall in the Communications/Music Complex on Loyola’s main campus.

A complimentary wine and cheese reception sponsored by the Loyola Alumni Association will precede the Jan. 18 performance at 6:30 p.m.

The Loyola Symphony Orchestra will perform the score, which features a blend of Broadway and operatic styles.

With tuba, harp and an array of exotic percussion instruments, this production touts the largest orchestra ever used in a Loyola opera.

The student singers all tackle multiple roles, switching nationalities as the title character travels the world.

Tickets are $40 for preferred seating, $25 for reserved seating, and $15 for Loyola students, faculty and staff.

For tickets and information, visit montage.loyno.edu or call (504) 865-2074.

Free parking is available in the West Road Garage on West Road and accessible from St. Charles Avenue.

Professor gets cancer research grant

New Orleans — Dr. Hua Lu of Tulane University has received a five-year, $1.6 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to study a molecule that could become a target for cancer drug therapy.

Lu and his team are investigating the cellular protein p53, which in a normal, healthy person plays a role in the suppression of tumor growth.

The genetic makeup of p53 is mutated in greater than 50 percent of all human cancers, while its activity level is often markedly reduced in the remaining half.

His research has led to the identification of several important cell signaling pathways and regulators of p53 that could become targets for anti?cancer drug development.

Tulane marks renewal milestone

New Orleans — Tulane University dedicated Benenson Plaza, near Newcomb Hall, earlier this month, marking the latest milestone in the university’s landscape renewal plan.

Located in the center of the uptown campus, Benenson Plaza provides improved lighting and numerous benches and tables for relaxation, studying and fellowship.

The plaza is the third phase of a project designed to join the quads between Newcomb Hall and McAlister Auditorium and transform the green expanse in the middle of campus into a scenic environment.

At the dedication ceremony, speakers noted that the beautification project is part of a long-term strategy to foster a pedestrian-friendly culture at Tulane.

Benenson Plaza is part of the Newcomb-McAlister Unified Green beautification project that started with turning McAlister Drive into the McAlister Place Pedestrian Way.

The new outdoor landmark was the gift of Clement and Stephanie Benenson, both of whom received their undergraduate degrees from Tulane in 2004; his father, James Benenson Jr.; brother James Benenson III; and their families.

Group taps LSUHSC figure for office

New Orleans — Robert E. Barsley, director of Oral Health Resources, Community and Hospital Dentistry and division head of Diagnostic Sciences at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans’ School of Dentistry, was elected treasurer of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.

The Council of Scientific Society Presidents is a nonprofit organization of presidents, presidents-elect and past presidents of about 60 scientific federations and societies whose combined membership numbers well more than 1.4 million scientists and science educators.

Barsley is the current president of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

Barsley is a 1977 graduate of the LSU School of Dentistry and a 1987 graduate of the Loyola University School of Law in New Orleans.

He was admitted to the bar in Louisiana in 1987. He joined the faculty of the LSU School of Dentistry in 1980.

Barsley has served as a consultant to numerous coroners offices in southern Louisiana and is on staff at the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office and the Jefferson Parish Coroner’s Office.

As a member of DMORT Region VI, he served an extended tour of duty in the dental section of the hurricanes Katrina and Rita morgues in St. Gabriel and Carville.

Musician, Tulaneto create mentors

New Orleans — Troy “Trobone Shorty” Andrews, who started playing music at age 4, is working with Tulane University to create a corps of musician-mentors who will guide the next generation of New Orleans musical artists.

The Trombone Shorty Foundation is partnering with the New Orleans Center for the Gulf South at Tulane to launch the Trombone Shorty Academy, which will target underserved New Orleans high school students who are musically gifted.

Tulane instructor and jazz pianist Jesse McBride will teach high school students starting this spring, and Tulane students will mentor Trombone Shorty scholars as part of the university’s service-learning program.

High school performers must audition to participate in the free after-school program at Tulane.

The Trombone Shorty Academy’s purpose is to teach young musicians the rich musical traditions of the region.

Starting with gospel, traditional jazz and early brass band music, students will study rhythm and blues, soul and “SupaFunkRock,” Trombone Shorty’s unique style of New Orleans music.

Andrews also foresees the academy as a place that empowers youth to choose music as a career. That means teaching music fundamentals and business acumen.

Once students learn to write music, McBride said, they can learn to copyright a song.

Compiled by the New Orleans bureau