The Violet Hour Reimagined

My name is Joelle Lamarre and I was born and raised in Chicago, first generation Haitian-American. I am an opera singer (soprano), actor, playwright and librettist. 

I am an opera singer and actress, 18 years in the making. On February 26, 2017, this project was premiered at the South Shore Cultural Center with the help of South Shore Opera Company of Chicago.  In using the South Shore Cultural Center for this event, it made this artistic event available to over 700 Chicago residents many of whom would generally not be able to afford to see a classical event downtown. In 2018, I presented the same work at Keybank Rochester Fringe Festival. It is my artistic mission and life commitment to present art that tells a myriad of stories that reflect the truth of human life and imagination. I deeply care about art that is honest and reflective of the times in which one lives. This is why I’m rewriting The Violet Hour. The sharing of Leontyne Price’s full journey in this staged presentation will create an interactive experience for both the performers and audience.

My goal is to present several vignettes of multiple voices telling the story of Leontyne Price. Through a series of monologues and dialogues, we hear from individuals who significantly impacted her life. Through their viewpoints, we experience Ms. Price’s musical shaping in several musical genres including gospel, spirituals and classical. Now that I have presented a few workshop performances of The Violet Hour, I am currently engaged in strengthening the storytelling through further historical research about Ms. Price’s early life in Laurel, Mississippi and improving the libretto and musical excerpts. Phase one is where the Artist Fellowship Program could provide an opportunity for growth and further exploration.  

Phase One, will provide financial support and resources for the playwright (librettist), dramaturg, and the musical director/composer. The creative team will be immersing in music research and  American culture during the 1930s though the 1980s. Understanding life and music during this time period will help to develop a deeper comprehension of the times in which Ms. Price’s lived and root the libretto in truth. The goal in this first phase is to write original music (the musical composition will include the creation of notated choral, spiritual, and operatic music) and have a completed libretto. To achieve this we will travel to Laurel, Mississippi, to learn more of Ms.Price’s origin and gain a full scope of her beginnings. Throughout our travels, we will be documenting the journey for a future documentary.

It is my artistic mission and life commitment to present art that tells a myriad of stories that reflect the truth of human life and imagination. I deeply care about art that is honest and reflective of the times in which one lives. This is why I’ve written The Violet Hour. The sharing of Leontyne Price’s full journey in this staged presentation will create an interactive experience for both the performers and audience. Ms. Price gave so much to the artistic fabric of operatic music, American culture, and equality for African Americans. With your assistance, this piece can continue developing into a staged presentation and honor a living legend, Ms. Mary Violet Leontyne Price. 


$30,000 total needed to Research Time-line for the Violet Hour Reimagined



Travel to Laurel, Mississippi 

Day 1: Visit Where she grew up the Prices home

Day 2: Visit the Chisolm’s home where Leontyne’s Aunt Worked 

Day 3: Visit the church where she held recitals 

Day 4: Discuss build and change script accordingly

Day 5: Draft read through by playwright


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Travel to New York City 

Day 1&2: Visit Julliard, the Met and Old location of the Old Met

Day 3&4: Discuss build and change script accordingly


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3 Week Workshops


Week One - Coachings for singers to learn new music with accompanist.

Week 2 & 3 - Rehearsal with Music Director and Director 

Final Day Reading (Producer invite)

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Organizer

Joelle Lamarre 
Organizer
Chicago, IL
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