What a place to watch a performance! It was almost as if the venue itself was an integral part of the show. As I cheered for the actors and everyone else associated with the play, I felt as though I could close my eyes and picture the Opera House full of ghosts from the Roaring 20’s cheering alongside me. Only I’m sure the air conditioning is slightly better these days.
The mostly wooden interior with its masterfully designed, original ceiling, the old-time beauty of the stage and the box seating on each side makes one feel as though he has traveled straight back to that time when all men wore top hats and the women carried parasols. In short, it is a sight that words cannot properly describe. Some places simply need to be seen by the naked eye to be truly appreciated.
I did some reading on the history of the Opera House and I wonder if David Lyons, the man who built it in 1901, is looking down proudly at what his brainchild has become. What was described as ‘a beautiful little playhouse’ by the Daily Signal when it originally opened can be described these days with many, many more adjectives. After all, how many places can be called ‘cozy, yet majestic’ which is exactly what I was thinking as I surveyed my surroundings.
When the Opera House reopened it got its fair share of publicity but now I’m wondering if it actually got enough. Last week after attending the play, I spoke to my friends and family about how nice of an experience it was and kind of surprised to find out that many of them really weren’t that familiar with south Louisiana’s gem. While the term ‘a hidden treasure’ sounds nice, it would be a shame if the Opera House remained as such. Yes, it has been honored by several statewide publications, however, this isn’t a place just for Crowley or Acadia Parish for that matter. The Grand Opera House of the South is a stage for all proven (Aaron Neville is coming in August) and up and coming performers from around the world and while it draws patrons from cities across the state, I still feel as though it hasn’t gotten the recognition it demands as a true, historic taste of south Louisiana.
If the proven dedication and commitment of those who worked so hard to get The Grand Opera House of the South so beautifully renovated and running strong again are any indication it shouldn’t take long.