OperaCréole! to tell flood stories in song _lowres

Photo provided by Opera Creole -- The local classical singing group will perform Sunday at Trinity.

OperaCréole, joined by Grammy winner Donnie Rae Albert, will use music to tell stories of Hurricane Katrina and the floods of 2005 when the group performs at the Trinity Artist Series on Sunday.

The 5 p.m. program, a regular fixture of the Episcopal church’s arts repertoire, will feature the local musical ensemble, and Albert will sing the prologue to a new opera slated for September at Loyola University.

“We’re going to be presenting some things. … We’re going to look at our remembrances of Katrina in terms of our own experiences in story form that represent our experiences before the storm and after the storm,” said Givonna Joseph, founder of OperaCreole and one of the performers who will sing Sunday, as well as in September.

Albert, a Louisiana native and LSU and SMU graduate, has performed with opera companies and symphonies around the globe, lending his baritone voice to “Otello,” “Tosca” and “Nabbacco,” as well as HBO productions of “Porgy and Bess” and “Showboat.”

Joseph will join Albert, who won a Grammy for his “Porgy and Bess” recording, for “Just a Little Talk With Jesus Makes It Right.” She said the spiritual follows the theme of uplifting songs that will be presented.

Of personal importance will be “I Need Thee Every Hour,” a tune Joseph said was the backdrop for her subconscious as she struggled with post-Katrina happenings.

“When I realized my house was soaking in 11 feet of water, I sort of went into shock and didn’t realize I was in shock until someone asked me to sing and nothing came,” Joseph said. The song was in her mind, speaking to her, “even though I couldn’t make the sound myself.”

She, Albert and the members of OperaCréole will be making “joyful sounds” Sunday at 5 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave., New Orleans.

For more information, call (504) 522-0276 or see trinitynola.com.