New Orleans’ premiere performing arts facility presenting the best in concerts, comedy, Broadway series, and other live shows. Originally named the New Orleans Theater of the Performing Arts, the venue opened in January 1973 to an operatic performance of Giuseppe Verdi’s Messa di Requiem. The theater was envisioned as something of a replacement for the old French Opera House, which had burned down in 1919. In 1993, it was renamed after the beloved gospel singer from New Orleans.
It has since been the home of the New Orleans Opera Association, as well as the Louisiana Symphony Orchestra (prior to that organization’s acquistion of the Orpheum Theater). The New Orleans Ballet and various Broadway theater touring companies often staged musicals and other plays there.