Joelle Lamarre talks Leontyne Price ‘The Violet Hour’ and 3Arts

Joelle Lamarre as Leontyne Price in “The Violet Hour (Photo credit: Eddy “Precise” Lamarre)

Joelle Lamarre is a world renowned soprano. Her voice is emotional, powerful and clear. Her performances around the world have been met with great praise and acclaim. In the summer of 2019 Lamarre made her debut in California when she joined The Long Beach Opera for the World Premier of Anthony Davis Central Park Five.The Singerprenuer reviewed, “… with Joelle Lamarre expertly lending her exquisite soprano to play mother to two of the boys, as well as singing the role of the crime’s victim from offstage.”

In 2017 Lamarre created The Violet Hour. The Violet Hour explores the career of Leontyne Price the internationally acclaimed soprano who was the first African American to become a leading performer at the Metropolitan Opera. Lamarre explores Price from her early life up until her final performance of the opera Aida at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1985.

In February of 2020, Lamarre launched a campaign with 3Arts to raise funds in order bring her play The Viiolet Hour to a wider audience via a new cast, crew and new producers.

We spoke to Lamarre about The Violet Hour and why its important to share the story of Leontyne Price.

Why did you write The Violet Hour?

The independence of being a black woman in the 50’s and 60’s in the United States is so important to me. It’s important to express, show and to allow other people to understand what it means to be a single, black and a female entrepreneur. Leontyne Price is the epitome of that and it need to be shared.

What is the importance of this workshop you are creating?

I want to honor Leontyne, but I felt something was missing in the first iteration of the show. So I asked myself: How can I get Leontyne’s story to the level of excellence that she so deserves? What is next for The Violet Hour? 

So I was given an opportunity with 3Arts to have a campaign, and raise $5,000 and 3Arts matches 1/3 of that $5,000.  With funding from this campaign, I’ll assemble workshop readings with professional teams to refine and mount the piece. The first phase will be with a dramaturg, director, and music director to help shape the script and notate changes. Then I’ll hire a cast of singers and actors to learn the piece as key performers. Finally, I’ll bring the crew together for an open-book performance that will be documented and presented to possible producers. This will help expand people’s knowledge of Leontyne’s extraordinary contributions to opera and the music industry in this country.

Talk about the representation of Black faces in Opera. Why is it necessary?

As an artist, Leontyne Price had a larger-than-life presence and a regal demeanor that inspired and touched people deeply, including myself. Early in my career I used to study performance recordings and interviews she gave. I knew I wanted to do a recital one day to honor her, but her story was also important to me as a single, Black woman, and entrepreneur. For me, Leontyne is the epitome of that. 

The Violet Hour production traces Leontyne’s extraordinary journey from the beginning of her career to her final performance of Aida at the Metropolitan Opera House in 1985. For this performance she received a 42-minute standing ovation, the longest in the Met’s history. This piece is ready to be a complete dramatic work that reveals the full scope of Leontyne’s power and what it is to be a live artist of her caliber.

What’s next for you?

This work. My job right now is not to give up on making this show better and to continue to connect my work of the Violet hour with an audience that will appreciate the art that she brought to this world.  My intention is to have a workshop where I’m able to discuss the development, growth and how I can work to make this experience a loving, fulfilling experience that is full of understanding, empathy, compassion, and  complexity. 

What words do you have for those looking to go into theatre?

So here is what I have to share: it’s important when you’re trying to do or go somewhere in your career to really ask yourself how is it that I want to move in my career? Where do I see myself going? because if you can find that, then you can create steps to get to that.-


Stream “I’m Dreaming (Don’t Wake Me)” by Precise below.

Happy Birthday Harriet – (Video) ‘I Am Moses’ sang by Joelle Lamarre

Happy Birthday, Harriet Tubman. Thank you for your courage for your boldness and for your determination. You risked your life to free thousands many times over. Today we honor you and your legacy and hope that we continue to move with the wind at our backs with freedom as the destination.

Watch Joelle Lamarre as Harriet Tubman singing “I Am Moses” from Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed That Line To Freedom an opera in two acts by Nkeiru Okoye (composer/librettist)


Listen/Buy “Speak Life” by Precise

Precise – Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP – Official Release – Silver Room – Recap


 Last night at the Silver Room for the official release of “Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP” was truly one of the best experiences of my career. After putting in so many nights of work and focus on this project it is fulfilling to see so may people come out to support it.


My sister Joelle Lamarre kicked off the festivities with her rendition of “Summer Time” from the George Gershwin production of Porgy and Bess. She totally brought the house down.


Jennifer Ligaya of Intellectual Radio held down her duties as the hostess impeccably. The discussion about relationships covered everything from the first date to the first “kiss”. She also did a piece called “Curiosity Killed The Cat”…lets just say the room was STEAMING!!!…lol


Simple Beauty Naturals provided well needed spa treatments and provided some amazing gift bags to a few guests who were able to answer some tough questions.


Nicole Malcolm the amazing artist provided her flair with some live art.

IMG_6769 Dj Kwest On on the 1’s and 2’s


As we played the EP I was surveying the room checking for responses and I loved what I saw. “I Like It” and “Take Our Time” seemed to get the best responses. My supporters let me know how much they loved the project.

10338290_10203177246046310_604409226259205954_nK Love The Poet being her usual amazing self.

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Shanara The Mouthpeace

IMG_6751Fanta doing henna tattooing


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I am so very grateful for the success of this event. I want to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who was involved. A Special shout goes out to Eric Williams the owner of The Silver Room who opens up his doors for artist throughout the city. We truly appreciate him.

If you were there I would love to know what you thought about it. Would you attend another “Love Sessions”? Let me know in the comments and please share.

“Ladies Love Mixtapes The EP” is available on bandcamp and itunes NOW!! The bandcamp embed is below. Physical Cds will be available on May 27th. Email if you would like one.

Thank you so much for your support.



Happy Mothers Day From Precise


Nothing brings the season of spring in like Mothers Day. I’m not usually a fan of all these corporate driven holidays because of how they basically create this excitement around one day pretty much for the purpose of getting your money, but Mothers Day is different.

The past few years of my life have been a journey of change and inconsistency. Experiences and people come and go. Many times during this change it has been a challenge to develop a true foothold just to get centered and affect change the way that I would want to see it. People that I thought were in the supporting cast of my life were just passing through.

The only individual who has ALWAYS been there for me has been my mother and I feel extremely blessed because of it. When I think about my mother being sent to this country by her father from Haiti, meeting my father, learning a new language and earning a living to support a family it never ceases to amaze me. I love my mother dearly.

At a time in my life when I had no one to turn to she was my rock. I am so grateful and appreciative for her. I know without her this life would be different so every moment I am with her is cherished.

I have many friends and family members who have lost their mothers. I know they miss their moms. I am one who believes that our ancestors never leave us and continue to guide us through our lives. Our mothers are always with us.


Feel free to leave a comment and say Happy Mothers Day to Your Mom!!



Buy/Listen to The Hit Single “Take Our Time (Right Away)” produced by Tye Hill from the soon to be released Ep “Ladies Love Mixtapes”