City grants Marigny Opera House temporary occupancy license


The Marigny Opera House reopens for concerts with a holiday premiere Dec. 12-13.
  • The Marigny Opera House reopens for concerts with a holiday premiere Dec. 12-13.

Following concerns about permits and several hearings in Orleans Parish Civil District Court, the City of New Orleans granted the Marigny Opera House a temporary occupancy permit, allowing it to resume holding public events.

"We proved to the city that the Marigny Opera House is safe," says Marigny Opera House owner Dave Hurlbert.

In court Wednesday, the Marigny Opera House and city attorney agreed on a list of improvements, some of which had been approved by the city before the recent issues arose following the the wedding of Solange Knowles at the venue Nov. 16, Hurlbert says. The city had already approved construction of a handicapped accessible entrance on the side of the building. Hurlbert says it will be completed within six weeks. The Marigny Opera House also is installing a sophisticated fire detection system, he says.

Confusion arose before the New Orleans Fringe Festival about securing a special use permit for that event. A temporary restraining order prohibiting use of the venue for the festival was issued on Wednesday, Nov. 19, the festival's opening day, and lifted on Friday, Nov. 21.

The Marigny Opera House resumes regular programming beginning with the premiere Tucker Fuller's Salve Regina, featuring mezzo-soprano Mattea Musso on Dec. 12-13.

Recent events, including the Press Street Draw-a-thon moved to other locations while the Marigny Opera House and city worked on the permit issues.

Hurlburt expects the city to grant a permanent occupancy permit when agreed upon work is completed. The building has been continuously functioning as a church, with no major alterations to the building, for more than 150 years, he says. A church's occupancy permit allows for public assembly. 

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