2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview

17:38 October 02, 2017
By: Dean Shapiro

No other city of comparable size in the U.S. has the quantity and diversity of live offerings in the cultural arts as New Orleans. Opera, dance, classical music, live theater; you name it, it's all here—year-round!

Following is a compilation of many of the performances being staged by some of New Orleans's premiere organizations during the 2017-18 cultural season that runs from September 2017 through June 2018:

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by New Orleans Opera Association]

New Orleans Opera Association

The New Orleans Opera Association celebrates its 75th anniversary during the 2017-18 season by offering four mainstage operas, plus a season-ending Diamond Anniversary gala concert featuring some of the greatest stars ever to perform on the local stage. Two performances of each mainstage opera are presented on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons in the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts (1419 Basin St.).

In addition, the company is introducing a series of "chamber operas" presented at various locations throughout the city.

All mainstage operas are accompanied by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Robert Lyall. They are presented in their original languages with English translations projected above the stage.

Mainstage Operas:

Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci (double bill)
(In Italian)
Composers: Pietro Mascagni and Ruggero Leoncavallo
October 6 & 8

Orpheus in the Underworld

(In English)
Composer: Jacques Offenbach
November 10 & 12

Champion (a jazz opera about boxer Emile Griffith)

(In English)
Composer: Terence Blanchard
March 9 & 11

75th Anniversary Celebration with the Great Stars of New Orleans Opera

(In original languages)
Composers: (various)
April 20 & 22

Chamber Opera Series:

Tabasco: A Burlesque Opera

(In English)
Composer: George Whitefield Chadwick (arranged and conducted by Paul Mauffray)
January 25-28
Le Petit Theatre, 616 St. Peter St.

The Medium

(In English)
Composer: Gian Carlo Menotti
June 1 & 2
New Orleans Jazz Market, 1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.

For tickets and more detailed information, call New Orleans Opera at 504-529-3000 or 504-529-2278, or check them out online at neworleansopera.org.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra]

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

The 70-member LPO celebrates the New Orleans Tricentennial in 2018 with a specially commissioned piece by world-renowned banjoist and composer Bela Fleck. The piece, which combines elements of some of the city's best-known musical genres, is being premiered on March 15 and 17 at the Orpheum Theater (129 Roosevelt Way) and will feature Fleck as the guest artist.

Other highlights of the upcoming season at the Orpheum include:

Old American Songs and Spirituals

September 22

Beethoven's Violin Concerto with Paul Huang

October 20

Star Wars and Beyond: The Music of John Williams

November 3 & 5

Holiday Spectacular with The 610 Stompers

December 9 & 10

Baroque Christmas featuring selections from Handel's Messiah

December 14

Jurassic Park: Film with Live Orchestra

January 20 & 21

Simply Sinatra with Steve Lippia

March 24

Vivaldi's Four Seasons and Shostakovich's 10th Symphony

April 6

The Music of Prince

April 21

Carmina Burana with NOVA Chorale and soloists (season closer)

May 18 & 19

Most concerts are conducted by Maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto, but guest conductors are also called in during the course of the season. For more detailed information including performance times, call 504-523-6350 or visit lpomusic.com.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by New Orleans Ballet Association]

New Orleans Ballet Association

NOBA's 2017-18 slate of five mainstage performances will feature the return of some of the most prestigious companies that have performed in New Orleans in recent years. Representing the cultures of Spain, Argentina, France, and the U.S., the companies and their performances for the coming season are as follows:

Ballet Hispanico
Mahalia Jackson Theater
1419 Basin St.
October 21, 8 p.m.

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet
NOCCA's Freda Lupin Memorial Hall
2800 Chartres St.
November 10 at 8 p.m. and November 11 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tango Fire
Mahalia Jackson Theater
January 27, 8 p.m.

Les Ballets de Monte Carlo in Romeo & Juliette
Mahalia Jackson Theater
February 24, 8 p.m.

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago
Mahalia Jackson Theater
April 7, 8 p.m.

For tickets and information, call 504-522-0996 or visit their website, nobadance.com. Single tickets may also be purchased through Ticketmaster by calling 1-800-745-3000 or visiting ticketmaster.com.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by Broadway in New Orleans]

Broadway in New Orleans

Touring hit musicals from the Great White Way return to the Saenger Theatre this fall with seven regular season shows, plus a non-subscription "season option," all in a wide variety of genres. The productions are:

Escape to Margaritaville (A Jimmy Buffet Musical)

October 20-28

The King and I

November 14-19

Irving Berlin's White Christmas

December 19-24

An American in Paris

January 30-February 4

The Color Purple

February 20-25

The Phantom of the Opera*

March 14-25


April 17-22


June 12-17

* Season Option; not included in regular ticket subscription package.

The Saenger is located at 1111 Canal St. in Downtown New Orleans. For more information, visit neworleans.broadway.com or call 1-800-218-SHOW (7469).

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by Le Petit Theatre]

Le Petit Theatre

After celebrating its centennial as America's oldest continually operating community theater, Le Petit goes into its "Second Century Season" with another varied lineup of classics and newer works, including its traditional hosting of a play during the annual Tennessee Williams Literary Festival.

The theater is in the heart of the French Quarter at 616 St. Peter St., opposite Jackson Square and the Cabildo. The 2017-18 season includes the following:

Once On This Island

By Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty
September 15-October 1

The Last Five Years

By Jason Robert Brown
November 3-19

A Streetcar Named Desire

By Tennessee Williams
March 9-25

An Act of God

By David Javerbaum
May 11-27


By Regina Taylor
June 15-July 1

For tickets and information, call the box office at 504-522-2081 or visit lepetittheatre.com.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by Southern Rep Theatre]

Southern Rep Theatre

Southern Rep continues its time-honored, founding tradition of presenting original works by local playwrights, and New Orleans premieres of other newly created plays. Southern Rep's popular, ongoing soap opera Debauchery, now into its seventh season, will continue throughout the season on dates and at venues to be announced later.

The five mainstage productions are:

Fun Home
By Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori
September 27-October 22
NOCCA Nims Black Box Theatre
2800 Chartres St.

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley
By Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon
November 29-December 23
Loyola University, Marquette Theatre
6363 St. Charles Ave.

And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens*
By Tennessee Williams
March 21-April 1
Loyola University, Marquette Theatre
6363 St. Charles Ave.

By Danai Gurira
April 18-May 13
Loyola University, Marquette Theatre
6363 St. Charles Ave.

All the Way
By Robert Schenkkan
May 17-27
(location TBA)

* In conjunction with the annual Tennessee Williams Festival

For more detailed information and tickets, call 504-522-6545 or visit southernrep.com.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by Jefferson Performing Arts Society]

Jefferson Performing Arts Society

This season, JPAS celebrates 40 years of bringing top-flight entertainment to the Greater New Orleans area. They will be presenting five mainstage productions at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center (JPAC), 6600 Airline Dr. in Metairie, and four shows at their newly reopened Westwego Performing Arts Theater (WPAT) at 177 Sala Ave. in Westwego.

The JPAS lineup of major productions for the 2017-18 season includes:

So Happy Together: The Greatest Hits of The Big Easy Boys

September 15-October 1, WPAT

Chicago the Musical

October 6-15, JPAC

Caroline, or Change

October 27-November 5, WPAT

Butch Caire's Holly Jolly Family Friendly Vintage TV Christmas Special (with special guest star Becky Allen)

December 1-10, WPAT

Tuck Everlasting

December 8-17, JPAC

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

February 23-March 4, JPAC

The Marvelous Wonderettes

March 9-25, WPAT

Catch Me If You Can

April 13-22, JPAC

Alice in Wonderland: A Storybook Ballet in Two Acts

May 18-20, JPAC

For ticket information or other show details, call 504-885-2000 or visit the JPAS website at jpas.org.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts]

Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

Located in the Rivertown section of Kenner at 325 Minor St., the Rivertown Theaters are under the management of Theatre 13, founded in 2009 by longtime actor/director Gary Rucker and performer/choreographer Kelly Fouchi. The 2017-18 season will feature:

Guys and Dolls
September 8-24

Hello Dawlin!
September 29 & October 1

The Odd Couple
November 2-19

Million Dollar Quartet
January 12-28

Steel Magnolias
March 2-18

Little Shop of Horrors
May 4-20

Beauty and the Beast
July 12-22

For tickets and other information, visit Theatre 13 at their website, theatre-13.tix.com, or call 504-461-9475.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by The NOLA Project]

The NOLA Project

The NOLA Project, now in its 13th season, is a theatrical ensemble company that consists of about two dozen local actors and "strives to challenge, entertain, and engage diverse audiences through high-quality and innovative performances of relevant great works and the development and production of new plays."

The company performs in various venues throughout New Orleans during the season. Their 2017-18 schedule is as follows:


By Mark Hollmann and Greg Kotis, directed by A.J. Allegra
UNO's Robert E. Nims Theater, Lakefront Campus
September 29-October 15

The Battle for New Orleans

By Jim Fitzmorris, directed by Beau Bratcher
St. Alphonsus Art & Cultural Center, 2045 Constance St.
November 2-18

Men on Boats

By Jaclyn Backhaus, directed by Shannon Sindelar
Lusher Charter School's Lions Gate Theatre, 5624 Freret St.
March 22-April 8

The Three Musketeers

A new adaptation by Pete McElligott, directed by Mark Routhier.
NOMA's Besthoff Sculpture Garden, 1 Collins Diboll Cir., City Park
May 9-27

For more detailed information about NOLA Project and its productions, go to nolaproject.com.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by Marigny Opera Ballet]

Marigny Opera Ballet

Marigny Opera Ballet enters its fourth season with four productions between October 2017 and March 2018. The resident contemporary ballet company features local dancers, choreographers, and musicians performing original works with live musical accompaniment.

The lineup for the coming season is as follows:

Book of Saints (premiere)

Choreography: Teresa Fellion; Composer: Tucker Fuller; Music: New Resonance Chamber Orchestra - Francis Scully, Conductor; and Krewe du Voix - Paul Weber, Director.

October 6-8

Christmas Cocktails (3 original world-premiere dances)

Choreography: Diogo de Lima, Maritza Mercado-Narcisse, and Nikki Hefko; Music: Lawrence Sieberth and the Polymnia Quartet

December 1-3

Made In New Orleans - Jazz Ballets (premieres)

Choreography: Kellis McSparrin Oldenburg, Gretchen Erickson, and Diogo de Lima; Music: Russell Welch, Rex Gregory, and Nutria.

January 26-28

Giselle Deslondes (back by popular demand)

Choreography: Maya Taylor; Composer: Tucker Fuller; Music: New Resonance Chamber Orchestra - Francis Scully, Conductor

March 23-25

All performances are staged at the Marigny Opera House, 725 St. Ferdinand St. For more information and tickets, call 504-948-9998 or visit marignyoperahouse.org.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
[Image Provided by New Orleans Friends of Music]

New Orleans Friends of Music

A long-established organization for staging and promoting chamber music, New Orleans Friends of Music goes into its 63rd season with a stellar roster of world-class musicians and ensembles, as well as some younger, emerging musicians.

Here is their lineup for 2017-18:

Pacifica String Quartet with Sharon Isbin, guitar

October 17

Finckel/Sussmann/Neubauer String Trio

November 6

Brown/Urioste/Canellakis Piano Trio

December 5

Lise de la Salle, piano

February 20

Venice Baroque Orchestra

March 7

Miro String Quartet with Steve Cohen, clarinet

April 9

All NOFOM concerts are held in Tulane University's Dixon Hall, 33 Audubon Blvd., starting at 7:30 p.m. For more information and tickets, go to friendsofmusic.org.

2017-18 Cultural Arts Season Preview
Image Provided by Musical Arts Society of New Orleans]

Musical Arts Society of New Orleans

Founded in 1980 by Melvin Alford and Julianne Nice, MASNO aims to provide students and teachers in the performing arts with master classes and workshops, as well as to expose them to performances by artists in the mainstream of professional activity. MASNO is also the umbrella organization for the biennial New Orleans International Piano Competition (NOIPC) and the annual New Orleans Piano Institute, both of which are held in the summer.

Here is MASNO's schedule for the 2017-18 season:

Nocturne XV with pianist Spencer Myer
Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, 921 Canal St.
November 5, 5 p.m.

Salon Concert with Pianist Xiaohui Yang
Beauregard-Keyes Historic House, 1113 Chartres St.
January 11, 6:30 p.m.

Pianist Philippe Bianconi Returns to Louisiana
(location TBA)
April 7, 6:30 p.m.

For more information and tickets, go to masno.org.

Sign Up!