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Opera in Atlanta

The Atlanta Opera's production of Lucia di Lammermoor 11/12 Season.
Loew's Grand Theater, originally DeGive's Opera House
The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre: the performance home of The Atlanta Opera

Opera in Atlanta has a long and uneven history. The first shows performed in Atlanta predate the American Civil War and were primarily performed in makeshift facilities modified for the operatic arts. The main company for the region is the Atlanta Opera, founded in 1979, which produces mainstage opera productions and arts education programs for all ages. The Atlanta Opera is based at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.


The first shows performed in Atlanta predate the Laurent DeGive, Atlanta's Belgian consul, built DeGive's Opera House on Marietta Street. The cheap seats were 25 cents. Laurent deGive struggled with presenting touring companies because of the inflated cost of train travel through the incompletely reconstructed South. In 1893 DeGive built a second and larger theater, DeGive's Grand Opera House, at 157 Peachtree Street, which in 1916 was leased to the Loew family. Later renamed Loew's Grand Theatre, it subsequently became famous for the 1939 premiere of the movie, Gone with the Wind. Margaret Mitchell, the author of the story was an Atlanta native.

By 1910, the Fabulous Fox, city aristocrats lobbied and construction began on the Atlanta Civic Center. Currently, the building holds the title as the world's largest opera house. The yearly Met shows thrived there until the Met disbanded its touring program in 1986.

Various local Atlanta artists attempted to create a company solely for Atlanta. There was even an ill-fated push to spark the interest of legendary chorister and conductor Atlanta Opera which continues as the area's premiere opera troupe, was founded in 1979.

The 1990s saw the addition of the regional companies Americolor Opera Alliance and Capitol City Opera. Additional companies were founded in 2006 and 2007 including OperaSouth, The New Opera and Peachtree Modern Opera.


  • Atlanta History Center
  • New Georgia Encyclopedia

External links

  • Capitol City Opera Company
  • Americolor Opera Alliance
  • OperaSouth
  • Peachtree Modern Opera
  • The Atlanta Opera
  • The New Opera, Inc.
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