Opéra Louisiane was founded in March of 2007 with a few simple goals in mind: to produce opera performances of the highest level in Louisiana’s capital city, to offer a Young People’s opera free to school children every year, to utilize the great musical and artistic talent of Louisiana singers and musicians, and to take a leadership role in nurturing young talent through our Young Artist’s Program. Shortly after its inception, Opéra Louisiane and LPB produced the Opéra Louisiane Gala concert featuring international opera stars at the Baton Rouge River Center. In the fall of 2008 Opéra Louisiane, through a generous grant from Mayor Kip Holden and the City Parish of East Baton Rouge and other significant sponsors including the Pennington Foundation, The Arts Council of Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, produced its first Young People’s Opera, Mozart’s The Magic Flute. These productions remain successful, allowing over 25,000 Baton Rouge area 4th, 5th and 6th graders to see a fully staged opera over the past seven years. Opéra Louisiane, through its Young People’s Opera Program and outreach events, endeavors to help fulfill the need for music programs in schools that have been cut due to budget constraints.
Along with our focus on education, Opéra Louisiane strives to offer performances of the highest quality featuring professional artists that will draw audiences from across state lines. In 2013, Opéra Louisiane offered a full production of Elixir of Love at the Baton Rouge River Center, complete with an international cast of singers, Opéra Lousiane’s Community Chorus, a full orchestra, grand sets and colorful costumes. The performance of Elixir marked the first time in over a decade that Baton Rouge has seen a professional opera production of this magnitude in our own city. In 2015, grand opera returned to Baton Rouge with Madama Butterfly at the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre. Opéra Louisiane continues to bring opera productions of this high quality to Louisiana’s capital city in future seasons. In just seven years, Opéra Louisiane has hired over 160 local musicians, provided work for more than 75 Louisiana theater professionals, given performance opportunities to 300 singers with Louisiana ties, featured 20 opera stars with international reputations, and sold over 12,000 tickets.
As the Capital City’s Opera Company we are promoting tourism to our city and state. When audiences travel to Baton Rouge to see an opera, they stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, and shop at our malls and boutiques. In short, our audiences are spending their money in Baton Rouge to boost our city’s economy. Opéra Louisiane is a fiscally responsible company that promotes the level of cultural diversity in Baton Rouge and capitalizes on Louisiana’s strong musical heritage.