Location: Libertad 621 & Toscanini 1168
The Colon Theatre is world famous being considered as one of the best acoustic in the world together with Milan´s La Scala, the Paris Opera and the Bolshoi in Moscow.
There are ballet groups, a fixed cast and orchestra and their own workshops and hosts schools of dance, singing and acting, and a museum.
The building occupies 8202 sq. mts. and the hall, a mixture of Italian Rennaissance and French Baroque. It sits 2478 people (4000 standing) and it has 7 levels. The use of golden and scarlet red colours predominated in the decoration.
In late 2006, Colon Theater underwent a profound process of restoration and technological modernization that brought back the original luster of their glory years, without altering its acoustics. It was reopened on Monday, May 24, 2010, as part of the Bicentennial of Argentina.
History of the first Colon Theatre
The first Colon Theatre was opened April 27m 1857 with a staging La Traviata. It was located opposite Plaza de Mayo. The design was made by the engineer Carlos E. Pellegrini, father of a future President of the Republic.
The old Colon Theatre existed for three decades before being transformed into the Banco de la Nación Argentina. It presented the most famous singers of the times like E. Tamberkick, G. Cima, S. Vera-Lorini, G. Medori, F. Nicolao, J. Gayarre, A. Patti and F. Tamagno. It developed a striking repertoire wide and eclectic including first performances of German Operas sung in Italian just as it took place in some European countries.
The construction of the current building began in 1889. The work lasted 20 years, and was sponsored by the anticipated sale of boxes. The official inauguration was May 25, 1908 with the opera Giuseppe Verdi’s Aida.
The building is located on land bordered by Libertad, A. Toscanini, Cerrito and Tucuman Streets between Plaza Lavalle and 9 de Julio Av. The land where it is built embraces 8202 sq. mts., 5006 sq. mts. belonging to the building and 3196 sq. mts. to underground “related” rooms below A. Toscanini St. The total surface built is 37884 sq. mts.
The façades are divided in three architectural orders. Over the terraces, an elegant two-section pointing roof stands out. It is a harmonious whole that can be appreciated at a distance from 9 de Julio Av.
There are elements of Italian Renaissance in the building. Basements similar to the Greek-Attic order made up of ground floor, first floor, monumental inter columnation (with Ionic and Corinthian capitals) and its multiform variations unify the first, second and third floors. The openings on the walls are managed with arches, architrabes and moldings. We cannot talk about a definite style but of an eclectic style typical of construction at the beginning of the 20th. Centuries.
The great entrance hall has Verona marble, stained glass on the dome and a stair case leading up to the foyer; the statues room and the so-called golden room. From the sides of the main stairs there is access to the lane of carriages, a narrow interior street communicating Toscanini and Tucuman Street.
It was built as a Italian curve, as something elongated horseshoe, is 75 meters in overall length, 38 feet from the bottom of the pit to the curtain. The room has ideal characteristics of Italian resonant and French clarity, an imponderable and unique item imponderable that become it a favorite of many artists.
A big “plafonnier” bronze hemisphere lights up the room with 700 lamps. One hundred bronze sconces with tulips of varied designs and numerous boxes with indirect light, together with the strawberry and red upholstery, pale gold and antique ivory decoration element, gives the room a warm and friendly dye.
The luxurious French-inspired golden hall, reminiscent of the Grand Foyer of the Paris Opera, is permanent center of chamber music concerts, lectures and parallel to the activity of the room, with free admission exhibitions.