Opéra Louisiane was founded by Robert Grayson and Amanda Martin Vincent 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 alongside professional musicians with international acclaim. 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 37,000 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 from Louisiana and beyond. 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. In 2019, Opéra Louisiane presented two sold out performances of Carmen at the Manship Theater at Shaw Center for the Arts and instituted the High School Opera Initiative, aimed at providing access to opera to students from economically disadvantaged communities. The Lunch with Leanne series, established in 2013, gives audience members the opportunity to experience a concert in an intimate setting and meet the artist afterwards. Opéra Louisiane presents two major fundraisers each year, the Opéra Summer Soirée in August and Sing and Swing, a celebrity karaoke competition. Over the past twelve years, Opéra Louisiane has hired over 320 local musicians, provided work for more than 100 Louisiana theater professionals, brought 36 opera stars with international reputations to Baton Rouge, and sold over 25,000 tickets. As the Capital City’s Opera Company Opéra Louisiane is educating, entertaining and employing. Since 2011, Opéra Louisiane’s budget has quadrupled and the company remains a debt free organization.

 

“The arts are essential to the economic growth of every vibrant Metropolitan city.
Opéra Louisiane provides a piece that is missing from the arts portfolio of Baton Rouge.”
-John Davies, Baton Rouge Area Foundation