MUSINGS OF A STORY MERCHANT

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Orleans Opera’s ROMEO AND JULIET to be presented IN HONOR OF DR. NICOLAS BAZAN


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—NEW ORLEANS AND LOS ANGELES
In honor of Dr. Nicolas Bazan’s novel and film project, Una Vida: A Fable of Music and the Mind, the literary management and motion picture production company, Atchity Entertainment International, Inc., is co-sponsoring New Orleans Opera’s upcoming production of Charles-Francois Gounod’s “Romeo and Juliet,” with performances on November 20 (8 p.m.) and 22 (2:30 p.m.) at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in New Orleans.The opera will be conducted by New Orleans Opera General and Artistic Director Robert Lyall, with tenor Paul Groves as Roméo and soprano Nicole Cabell as Juliette.Bazan, the head of LSU School of Medicine’s Neuroscience Center for Excellence, has written a novel that explores the emotional and spiritual aspects of Alzheimer’s utilizing the lush setting of the New Orleans underground music world, to “show his love for his adopted city and State which is so vividly depicted in its pages,” according to Dr. Kenneth Atchity, Louisiana native and chairman of AEI. “We’re delighted to be able to bring Dr. Bazan’s first novel to the attention of the community he serves and to announce that a film based on it is in development as well.” The screenplay for Una Vida has been completed and offered by AEI to directors, cast, and financers.In the novel, neuroscientist Alvaro Cruz finds himself haunted by the recurring, yet elusive, dream of a banjo player in a cornfield, an image that leads him on a personal quest to uncover the mysterious past of a New Orleans street blues singer known as Una Vida. Stricken with Alzheimer’s, Una Vida can offer only tantalizing clues about her past, expressed through her mesmerizing vocals, incredible recollection of jazz lyrics, and the occasional verbal revisiting of a fascinating life that’s fading quickly and forever into the recesses of her mind. As Cruz searches for Una Vida’s true identity, he confronts the darkness within himself and learns profound lessons about the human psyche, the nature of memory—and about the human soul. In the end, Una Vida represents a triumph of the spirit and sends an intensely personal message of hope to the world even as scientists like Dr. Bazan continue their search for answers to one of life’s most devastating diseases.”Leeza Gibbons, founder of Leeza’s Place for the families of Alzheimer’s victims, calls Una Vida “a hero’s journey that leads a haunted neuroscientist through the mystery of jazz, the alleys of New Orleans . . . and the labyrinth of the mind.”Seating for this celebratory event is limited. Click here to order tickets or call the box office (504) 529-3000. For additional information please visit www.neworleansopera.org.

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