Dr. Brian Arreola, associate professor of voice, is reprising the role of Luis Rodrigo Griffith in a current production of the jazz opera, Champion, at the New Orleans Opera, March 9 and 11. Champion, by Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard, is based on the true story of world welterweight champion Emile Griffith, who killed boxer Benny Paret in a match in 1962. Selected following a national audition, Arreola originated the role of Luis in the opera's highly successful premiere by Opera Theatre of St. Louis in 2013. For that production, he received positive notices in numerous reviews. Opera Today wrote, “Brian Arreola’s lean, well-schooled tenor and his impassioned way with several high-flying phrases were perfectly matched to the role of the sympathetic care-giver Luis.”
"It is wonderful to be able to sing the role again and collaborate with many members of the original cast and creative team as well as brilliant newcomers," Arreola said of his new engagement. "It is particularly gratifying to be able to work with the distinguished American baritone, Arthur Woodley, who portrays the elder Emille Griffith. His vocalism and acting are truly inspiring."