Teatro Colón, a must-see for opera and culture lovers
Considered one of the most important lyrical theaters in the world, this building has been in existence for more than a century as a cultural bastion of Buenos Aires
There is an interesting proposal in Buenos Aires for culture lovers. The Teatro Colón is one of the must-sees in the world of opera and is on a par with La Scala in Milan, the Opera Garnier in Paris and the Royal Opera House in London.
Its first performance was on May 25, 1908 with the presentation of the opera Aída, by Giuseppe Verdi. From that moment on, the most important directors, singers and dancers in history passed through the theater, such as Igor Stravinsky, Herbert von Karajan, Daniel Barenboim, Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, Plácido Domingo, Rudolf Nureyev, Julio Bocca, Paloma Herrera and Maximiliano Guerra.
Its construction lasted almost 20 years and involved 1500 people. Architects Francesco Tamburini, Victor Meano and Jules Dormal worked on its design. According to the great orchestra conductors, the Colón is one of the best theaters of its kind, because the horseshoe hall generates a perfect sound distribution and the three floors of boxes, designed with soft materials such as fabrics, wood and carpets, achieve a optimal absorption. Also, on the upper floors, hard materials such as marble and bronze were used to perfect the reflection of the waves. Its dome was decorated by the Argentine painter Raúl Soldi, who took 41 days to complete the dazzling work.
In 2008, the City Government began an in-depth restoration, with the aim of restoring it to its full splendor and, at the same time, equipping it with the most important technological advances. This work allowed the Teatro Colón to be re-inaugurated for the bicentennial of the Nation, in 2010.
Currently, the building houses different workshops where productions for its shows originate, as well as the Higher Institute of Art, recognized throughout the world where future lyrical singers and dancers are trained.
Take the virtual guided tour here: https://youtu.be/ZNoUcwRotis
One of the most remembered anecdotes in the history of the Teatro Colón had the temperamental director Arturo Toscanini as its protagonist. In 1912 he decided to withdraw from a rehearsal disgusted by how a clarinetist played. Since there was no other bass clarinet in Buenos Aires, the theater authorities had to convince the maestro to reconsider his decision. Finally, Toscanini relented but then the one who did not want to play was the offended clarinettist.
Italian architect Francesco Tamburini designed the Colón project, but he died before work began. He was succeeded by his countryman Víctor Meano, who also died prior to the inauguration. In addition to sharing a country of origin and the misfortune of not having been able to complete their work, they had something else in common: they both died at the age of 44. Many people spoke of “the curse of the theater Colón”.
Italian soprano Claudia Muzio used to throw holy water on stage, but at the Teatro Colón that caused her to slip and fall into the orchestra pit.
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