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        Featured Vocalists


American bass-baritone Ivan Griffin has delighted audiences in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, and South Africa. His operatic appearances include such companies as Spoleto Festival, New Orleans, Buffalo, Michigan, Western New York, Opera Louisiane, and OperaCreole. He has also been featured artist with the National Symphony of Mexico, Louisiana Philharmonic, Southeast Texas Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, and Savannah Symphony, to name a few. Ivan is a graduate of Southern University in Baton Rouge, and the Eastman School of Music. He currently serves on the voice faculty at Loyola University of New Orleans.

 Ivan Griffin

Ty_Portrait_2 (1).jpg

 Tyrone Chambers

A native son of America’s first city of opera, New Orleans, LA Tyrone Chambers, II is founding tenor of Opera Créole, a unique opera company making its mark at home and abroad.  He has performed principal roles Diron Hachard in Minette Fontaine

 in 2015, Jean Torrès in La Flamenca in 2017, of William Grant Still and Lucien Lambert respectively, the role of Basile Barès in Les Lions de la Reconstruction,

compiled and written by Givonna Joseph, and a plethora of works integral to OperaCréole’s mission- researching, finding, and performing classical works by Creole composers, les gens de couleur libres, and other composers of African descent.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung praises him for having a “splendid voice, fit for both big stages worldwide, and important roles at home.  [The voice is] fine in the heights, elegantly gliding on the tempi waves and in forte with powerful emotion.” Speaking of home, one of the artist's greatest professional joys is sharing his talents in local churches and other venues, as he offers recitals regularly and cantors often at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. The 2019-2020 season was full before 2020 brought a global pandemic and greatly limited the performer’s opportunities. The Mainz resident performed Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Brahms’ Liebeslieder Walzerat Schloss Henfenfeld.  In his first Brazilian appearance, Mr. Chambers presented a solo recital called "Seréstas, Spirituals, and Song." He also led yet another successful European/Scandinavian tour of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Musical Gala which finished just before the pandemic. Last season's highlights were singing El Remendado in Carmen with New Orleans Opera Association, Russell Davenport in Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride during its Chicago Opera Theater world premiere, as well as several concerts with Opera et Cetera and Papageno Musiktheater in Frankfurt. This year, Mr. Chambers expects to be sailing the high seas as a headliner with the internationally acclaimed versatile act, Vox Fortura, and spoiling his new goddaughters: Amara and Nima.


Annelise Cassar Tedesco, soprano and guest artist of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, shares a deep connection to the music and education community of the Greater New Orleans area. She serves as the music director and conductor for CHS Voices, Chalmette High School’s Music Theatre and Vocal Arts program, and St. Bernard Parish Public School’s summer intensive program, The Performing Arts Academy. She was recently recognized as Teacher of the Year and graduated from Loyola University New Orleans where she studied with Ellen Frohnmayer. No stranger to the concert or theatrical stage, some of her performance credits include Mahler for the Children of Aids, and Beethoven for the Indus Valley, two benefit concerts at Carnegie Hall to raise funds and public awareness for global pediatric AIDS and victims of the 2010 Pakistani floods, respectively. She has performed with Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre, the New Orleans Opera Association, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and NOVA Chorale. She also sings professionally at Trinity Episcopal Church on Jackson Avenue. Most recently, Annelise was honored to be the soprano soloist for Handel's Messiah in a collaborative concert with musicians from the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Chalmette High School's own CHS Voices Varsity Chorale.


 Cassar Tedesco

Mirella Cavalcante is a Brazilian mezzo-soprano, born in Fortaleza. She earned a Bachelor of  Music degree in Music Education from Universidade Estadual do Ceará and a Master of Music degree  in Vocal Performance from Loyola University in New Orleans where she studied with Dr. Tyler Smith.  She started singing as a soloist when she was still pursuing her Bachelor’s degree with Grupo  Syntagma. Eventually she was invited to perform as soloist with other groups and made her  professional opera debut with Orquestra de Câmera Eleazar de Carvalho as Sinharinha and Miguelina  in Paurillo Barroso’s Sinharinha (first world audition). 

While still living in Brazil, she sang as a soloist in many works including “Magnificat”  (Soprano 1) by J. S. Bach, “Te Deum” (Soprano 2), by M. A. Charpentier, “Coronation Mass” (Soprano 2), and “Requiem” (Contralto), both works by W. A. Mozart. She also performed opera roles, such as  Belinda in the opera “Dido and Aeneas,” by Purcell, and Mademoiselle Silberklang in the opera “Der  Schauspieldirektor,” by Mozart. She also sang in the first Brazilian audtion of Benjamin Britten’s  “Abraham and Isaac,” as Isaac, and G.F. Handel’s “Gloria” HWV Deerest. 

After moving to New Orleans, she joined New Orleans Opera, where she was able to perform as 6th Spirit in the opera “Cendrillon”, by Jules Massenet, under the baton of Robert Lyall, and Woman 6  in the opera “The Blind”, by Lera Auerbach, conducted by the composer herself.



 Mirella Cavalcante


Maria Thomas is a native of New Orleans.  She holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Baylor University, and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Louisiana State University, both attained while on performance scholarship. 

She has excelled in International singing competitions, as well as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.  Her recent roles include the title role in Vanessa, and Mimi in La Boheme. Her primary voice instructor is nationally renowned pedagogue, Dr. John Van Cura. 

 Maria Thomas


Valencia Pleasant


Soprano Section Leader
Caroline Boudreaux is a senior at Loyola University New Orleans, studying Vocal Performance. Caroline has been a part of New Orleans Opera's series, Opera on Tap, a member of the New Orleans Opera Chorus, as well as Loyola's Opera program. She is thrilled to be singing at St. Andrew's.

Caroline Bourdreaux


Tenor Section Leader

Justin Eifert is a freshman at Loyola University New Orleans, studying vocal performance with Luretta Bybee. He grew up in Houston, Texas, and was a yearly performer for Houston Grand Opera’s Art of Opera summer workshop for high school students. He was also a third-place finalist in the 2019 Greater Houston NATS vocal competition and first chair Tenor 1 in the TPSMEA All-State Choir for 2019 and 2020.

Justin Eifert

Valencia Pleasant has performed in the NY/NJ area, and has called New Orleans home for 8 years. The native Mississippian received her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Mississippi State University (Go, Bulldogs) and a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance (Classical Voice/Opera) from New York University (Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development). While in New York, Ms. Pleasant was a member of Pacific Encore Performances Repertory Company, performed in concert for the Gilbert & Sullivan Society of New York, and was seen in The Maid of Orleans (Senator of Orleans) in the 14th Annual New York International Fringe Festival. She has performed with The Symphony at Western Kentucky University, the Community Chorus of River Parishes, the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, and currently, the New Orleans Opera Chorus and OperaCréole. Ms. Pleasant is a teaching artist, being that she is a 5-8th grade Music Teacher and Choir Director in the Lafourche Parish School District.

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