The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is an internationally-renowned orchestra, founded in 1916 as a publicly-funded municipal organization. The current Music Director is Marin Alsop, a protégé of Leonard Bernstein. Center Stage is the premier theater company in the city and a regionally well-respected group. The Baltimore Opera was an important regional opera company, though it filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and is not currently performing.The Baltimore Consort has been a leading early music ensemble for over twenty-five years. The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center, home of the restored Thomas W. Lamb-designed Hippodrome Theatre, has afforded Baltimore the opportunity to become a major regional player in the area of touring Broadway and other performing arts presentations.
Baltimore also boasts a wide array of professional (non-touring) and community theater groups. Aside from Center Stage, resident troupes in the city include Everyman Theatre and Baltimore Theatre Festival. Community theaters in the city include Fells Point Community Theatre and the Arena Players, which is the nation's oldest continuously operating African American community theater.