Buenos Aires, Argentina
“It is amongst the most famous in the world and has a magnificent program of Opera and Ballet. Opened in 1908 and one of the world’s most important lyrical theaters, this famed 2,500-seat opera house has hosted the greats, from Maria Callas and Enrico Caruso to Luciano Pavarotti. Musical activity covers all genres, especially the tango. This theater is the largest musical one in South America and one of the most beautiful and famous in the world. According to aficionados, the theater acoustics are almost perfect. The theater seats 2.500 people distributed in the stalls, boxes and the four rises: cazuela, tertulia, gallery and paradise. Its dome was made by the famous local painter Raúl Soldi. The theater has a gigantic crystal chandelier with more than 700 lights – most remarkably its interior can accommodate an orchestra.
Its magnitude, magnificent acoustics, and opulence (grander than Milan’s La Scala) position the Teatro Colón (Colón Theater) among the world’s top five operas. An ever-changing stream of imported talent bolsters the well-regarded local lyric and ballet companies. After an eventful 18-year building process involving the death of one architect and the murder of another, the ornate Italianate structure was finally inaugurated in 1908 with Verdi’s Aida. It has hosted the likes of Maria Callas, Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini, Igor Stravinsky, Enrico Caruso, and Luciano Pavarotti, who has said that the Colón has only one flaw: the acoustics are so good, every mistake can be heard.”
The Teatro Colón is a beautiful place. The photographic equipment that I had with me the day we visited does not do it justice. Luckily, we met a very nice guy that works at the theater and were given a personal tour immediately before a performance was to begin. It was amazing being able to see the space and the flurry of activity before a show. The restoration work recently completed does justice to the original architecture and heightens the majesty of the structure. The acoustics are superb. During the performance it felt and sounded as if we were in the orchestra pit and onstage with the performers. Even if opera or orchestras are not your thing, a tour and watching a performance are highly recommended. A side note: One of the places we were able to see in the theater was the Presidential box. It is located in the perfect spot in the theater for viewing and sound and includes a private dinning/event room. When asked how many times times the president has visited the theater, everyone we spoke with said she has never attended (though it used to be mandatory as required by constitutional law).