Vive La France Culture Classes

Presenter’s Biography:

Jean Xavier Brager

Jean Xavier Brager resided in Louisiana for 18 years. He first served as cultural and linguistic attaché at the Consulat Général de France in New Orleans. Jean X then taught language and culture classes at Louisiana State University and at Loyola University. For over 10 years, he volunteered as the artistic director of Francophilia Foundation. At this time, Dr. Brager has relocated to his hometown of Marseille in the heart of the Provence region. There, he has resumed teaching both English, film, and drama in the French public school system. In addition, Jean X is teaching two online courses, one on French and Francophone Cinema for Loyola University, New Orleans, and the other on the History of French Fashion for Loyola University, New Orleans, and the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.  Having recently celebrated the three-year anniversary of his American citizenship, Jean X is more passionate than ever to create opportunities to showcase the intertwined destinies of France and the US. He has not yet finished his novel or his script and continues to blame Provence’s blue skies, tasty ratatouille, and the Mediterranean light.

Véronique Day

Véronique Day earned her Ph.D. in Medieval and Modern Art History from Northwestern University in Chicago. A French native, she completed a degree at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts in Paris. In addition to teaching Art History, she has taught at Ben Franklin, Newman and other schools in New Orleans.  Véronique is now teaching French littérature and speech at the Lycée Français de la Nouvelle Orléans.

Tara A. Melvin

Tara A. Melvin is the Director of Community Partnerships and Education for New Orleans Opera. She is an accomplished soprano with extensive experience in operatic and art song repertoire. Tara has performed numerous recitals across North America, Central America, and Europe. She is a passionate educator and researcher who has taught privately for over ten years and has held master classes in universities across the south. These masterclasses included week-long artist-in-residence stints that highlighted the interpretation of songs and operatic works of composers of African descent.  Dr. Melvin holds degrees in Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from the University of New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from Texas Tech University.

Wine Curator’s Biography:

Margene Minor

As a retired educator and financial lending analyst, Margene Minor is determined to continue to educate herself (and others when allowed), by completing and having satisfied Examiners and thus being awarded the WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust), Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits with Merit near Distinction under the authority of the Trustees, by Ian Harris International Wine and Spirit Center 39-45 Bermondsey Street, London. Margene plans on continuing for Level 3 WSET and earn another “button” when WSET courses resume in person.

Chef’s Biography:

Robert Faust

Robert Faust attended culinary school at The Art Institute of Atlanta in the early 2000s. He then moved back to New Orleans.  He has worked at some of the top restaurants in the city and for some of the most respected restauranteurs.  Rob has worked for Susan Spicer at Bayona and Mondo and Ralph Brennan at Ralph’s on the Park.  He was sous chef at Galatoires,  Rob  has done private chef work for NFL and NBA clients and major recording artists.


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