Opera House opens to a packed house

By Katherine Miller

STAFF WRITER

CROWLEY – One of the most long awaited events in Crowley history occurred Friday, September 26 in the newly restored Grand Opera House of the South in Crowley.

The soft opening of the Opera House began with a cocktail hour, as well-wishers were greeted by L.J. Gielen and Kim Gielen Gattle, the owners of the Opera Hose.

History was made yet again as the stage of the Grand Opera House of the South came to life once more. As the lights dimmed, the excitement of the Gielen family was apparent.

Kim Gielen Gattle, executive director of the Opera House, through eyes filled with overwhelming joy, looked out into the crowd and gave her heartfelt appreciation to all who have made the restoration project a success.

“All of you know the importance of this project, and we can’t thank you enough.”

“This will work,” continued Gattle. “The Opera House has been closed since the 1940s, and never again will that happen,” she said enthusiastically.

Many patrons of the project were present and acknowledged, such as Congressmen Charles Boustany, Gil Pinac, and Fred Hoyt.

At the finish of her speech, Gattle introduced Louisiana legend Irma Thomas. With songs such as “Proud Mary” and hits from her latest album entitled “ Simply Grand.”

After the curtains had closed, Gattle was speechless when asked to express her feelings of the event.

Gielen was equally elated at the marvelous occurrence, and made it his mission to make sure everyone had enjoyed the event.

Truly, this night is one that made history, as we look forward to a new era with the continued restoration of Crowley’s Opera House.

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