Music: Loubat of New Orleans

It looked as if the opera were coming back to New Orleans after 25 years.

Throughout the 19th century New Orleans disputed Manhattan's claim to be operatic capital of the U.S. The plush opera house on Bourbon and Toulouse streets was the focus of Creole society. Debutantes in French muslins hung over the rails of its red and ivory boxes. People in mourning and octoroon courtesans took their opera behind latticed screens. Barbers and hairdressers discussed high Cs with their customers. During one performance of Faust, an expectant mother is said to...

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