International opera star André Courville and family trio Sweet Cecilia will reunite for a unique Christmas concert on December 1st at 7:30pm at the Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayette.
The performance is part of the 2022-23 season of Performing Arts Serving Acadiana. Tickets are available at www.pasaonline.org or at the Heymann Center box office.
On stage they are accompanied by an 11 piece string ensemble with orchestrations by Danny Devillier.
Courville and the trio Sweet Cecilia, consisting of Laura Huval, Maegan Berard and Callie Guidry, were all childhood friends in the parish of St Martin.
Courville suggested to PASA executive director Jackie Lyle that the four friends had long wanted to perform together and that only the holiday music was the real point at which their musical genres crossed, according to a statement from PASA.
“With Andre’s musical vision and creative staging, this will be a musically exceptional and entertaining concert,” said Lyle. “PASA’s mission includes providing paid performance opportunities for artists living in our area, and this concert certainly fulfills that component!”
Sweet Cecilia is a family trio whose music is deeply rooted in country, rock, folk and Cajun influences. The three women are accomplished singers and musicians as well as master songwriters, Lyle said. Sweet Cecilia was officially founded in 2012; However, sisters Laura Huval and Maegan Berard have been singing and making music together with their first cousin Callie Guidry since childhood. Their late father and uncle Al Berard – a singer/songwriter/musician – encouraged the three young girls to pursue music.
Sweet Cecilia’s music is fresh and modern while staying true to the musical roots and traditions they grew up with, Lyle said.
Bass-baritone André Courville is a star on the opera stages of the world. His voice has been called “gorgeous,” “supercharged,” “gorgeous,” and “lush” by Opera News, “warm” and “rich” by the Washington Post, and “imposing” by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
His recent and upcoming engagements with some of the most famous companies in Europe, Asia and America include debuts at the Zurich Opera in Switzerland; Opéra National de Bordeaux, Opéra de Rouen Normandie and Opéra de Limoges in France; Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Italy; Karlsruhe’s Badisches Staatstheater in Germany; the Moscow Philharmonic at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Russia; Guangzhou Opera in China; Houston Grand Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Dallas Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Arizona Opera, Kentucky Opera, Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Berkshire Opera Festival, Caramoor Music Festival and the Opera Lafayette in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, among others.
He has also performed numerous times at Carnegie Hall since his debut with the Opera Orchestra of New York. Trained at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, the singer from Cecilia, Louisiana, received the ABC Fund’s Rising Star ICON Award. He is also a prizewinner at eight national and international singing competitions, including first prize at the Loren L. Zachary National Vocal Competition in Los Angeles and first prize at the Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition in New York City.
“André Courville is in high demand because of his strong stage presence and incredible talent. For those who already love opera, this comes as no surprise,” said Lyle. “For those who don’t like classical music or opera, our concert on December 1st is an opportunity to get infected by this guy’s talent.”
In addition to the public performance, Courville and Sweet Cecilia will also perform for seventh graders of the Lafayette Parish School System on November 30th.
Tickets for the performance on December 1 are available now at www.pasaonline.org or at the Heymann Center box office. The counter phone number is 337-291-5555 and counter hours are Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm