By Cecilia Mansilla
ARGENTINA: Milan has La Scala. New York City has the New York Metropolitan and then there’s the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, the Munich National Theater and the Paris Opera. In Buenos Aires, we have the Colon Theater or better known here as Teatro ColÃ³n.
Teatro ColÃ³n was opened in 1908 and is considered one of the main theatres in the world. The acoustics are considered one of the five best acoustics for opera in the world.
An American friend of mine, David, asked me last week: “What about the Teatro ColÃ³n? Some friends are here and I want to show it to them… but it’s still closed!” And he was right.
It’s been closed for over three years. Different governments have promised that they will finish the reconstruction work, but it never happens.
However, this week, Mauricio Macri, the governor of Buenos Aires, announced that it will be opened next year!
Even though we have already heard this a lot of times… we will believe in him!
As one of the most important national monuments, it is located in the heart of Buenos Aires. With over 2500 seats, it was built to demonstrate power and independence and fulfill a rich cultural aspect of Argentina.
With excellent acoustics and modern stage areas, the theater’s interior design features a rich scarlet and gold decor. The cupola contains frescoes painted in 1966 by the renowned 20th century artist Raul Soldi during the renovation work.
The theater opened on May 25, 1908, the DÃa de patria (Motherland Day) in Argentina, with a performance of Verdi’s Aida. It quickly became a world-famous operatic venue rivaling La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera in attracting artists.
Celebrities like Arturo Toscanini, Enrico Caruso and Titta Rufo, Maria Callas and Maia Plissetskaya, PlÃ¡cido Domingo and even Luciano Pavarotti. Pavarotti is considered by many to be the greatest tenor in history, and he said about the theater: “… it has a very big defect, the acoustic is simply perfect. Imagine what that means for a singer: if one makes a mistake, it is noticed immediately…”
This icon of Buenos Aires culture will finally be reopened on May 25, 2010, the 102nd anniversary of its original opening. Having been closed for over 3 years, we cannot wait for the reopening. There are already tickets sold for the first show.
So maybe, if David’s friends come back next year, they will be able to enjoy one of the most amazing theaters in the world — along with the rest of us.
Learn more about Cecilia:
Cecilia Miguel Mansilla is a 24-year-old student who lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Studying journalism, Cecilia has been a TV news and radio producer for two years. These days, however, she finds herself working for an information technology company and isn’t finding the experience as rewarding as journalism.
I’m trying to get back to my profession, to what I really love — journalism.