The Colon Theatre is an icon of Buenos Aires, and of course in South America. Is considered one of the two most important opera houses in the world. So, if you´re visiting Buenos Aires, a guided tour to the Theatre is a must. What´s important to know in advance before visiting this house? What you need to know? Well, it´s important to book tickets in advance if you want to take a guided tour. A good idea is to combine the guided tour to Colon Theatre with a good walking tour. But, let me start first with some general information about this amazing opera house in Buenos Aires.
The amazing Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Colon Theater of Buenos Aires is one of the most important opera houses in the world. Its rich and prestigious track record and the exceptional acoustic and architectural features of its building place it at the level of theaters such as La Scala in Milan, the Paris Opera, the Vienna State Opera, London's Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan NY. All of these houses are amazing and one of the best is the Colon Theatre in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In its first headquarters, the Teatro Colón functioned from 1857 to 1888, the year it was closed for the construction of a new room. It was inaugurated on May 25, 1908 with a function of Aida.
In its beginnings, the Colón hired for its seasons to foreign companies; from 1925 he had his own stable bodies -Orchestra, Ballet and Choir- and their own production workshops, which allowed him, the 1930s, organize their own seasons funded by the budget of the city. Since then, the Teatro Colón has been defined as a theater of season or stagione with the capacity to carry out the entirety of an entire production thanks to the professionalism of their specialized scenographic bodies.
Colon Theatre: The building
The Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires city is considered one of the best theaters in the world. Recognized for its acoustics and for the artistic value of its construction, its current building turned 100 years old in 2008. Located between the streets of Cerrito, Viamonte, Tucumán and Libertad, in the heart of the city of Buenos Aires, it was inaugurated on May 25, 1908 with the opera Aida by Giuseppe Verdi.
This building replaces the old Teatro Colón built in front of the Plaza de Mayo where today stands the Banco Nación. The construction of the new building took around 20 years, its foundation stone was placed on May 25, 1890, with the intention of inaugurating it before October 12, 1892 coinciding with the fourth centenary of the discovery of America. The initial project belonged to the architect Francesco Tamburini and, upon his death in 1891, it was continued and modified by his partner, the architect Víctor Meano, author of the palace of the National Congress. The works advanced until 1894, but then stagnated for financial reasons. In 1904, after the death of Meano, the government commissioned the Belgian Jules Dormal to complete the work. Dormal introduced some structural modifications and definitely left his stamp on the French-style decoration.
At the end of 1907, the first lease of the Teatro Colón was signed, although the works of completion of the building were delayed in relation to the date set for the inauguration of the hall, on May 25, 1908. In any case, in that date was the first opera performed in the main hall of the Theater by the Great Italian Lyric Company, although with some unfinished spaces of the building such as the Golden Hall and the iron canopies on Libertad and Cerrito streets.
Colon Theatre: Artist who performed
The number of artists who have performed in the theatre since it opened in 1908 is huge. Their performances on this stage have shaped its great classical musical tradition and a world-renowned prestige. The list includes classical composers such as Richard Strauss, Arthur Honegger, Igor Stravinsky, Paul Hindemith, Camille Saint-Saëns, Manuel de Falla, Aaron Copland, Krzysztof Penderecki, Gian-Carlo Menotti, Héctor Panizza, Juan José Castro, Gerardo Gandini, and Mauricio Kagel. Different generations of conductors performed in this hall, like Arturo Toscanini, Erich Kleiber, Fritz Busch, Ernest Ansermet, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Tulio Serafin, Leonard Bernstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, Karl Böhm, Fernando Previtali, Lorin Maazel, Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Kurt Masur, Michel Corboz, Riccardo Chailly, Simon Rattle, Claudio Abbado, René Jacobs and the Argentinians Daniel Barenboim, Gabriel Garrido and Miguel Ángel Veltri, among others. Amazing isn´t it? They offered wonderful performances in this unique opera house.
The long list of singers includes, among thousands of names, the tenors Enrico Caruso, Beniamino Gigli, Lauritz Melchior, Mario del Monaco, Richard Tucker, Wolfgang Windgassen, Alfredo Kraus, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, and Luciano Pavarotti, the sopranos Claudia Muzio, Lily Pons, Maria Callas, Renata Tebaldi, Kirsten Flagstad, Victoria de los Ángeles, Joan Sutherland, Birgit Nilsson, Montserrat Caballé, Eva Marton, Kiri Te Kanawa, Katia Ricciarelli, Mirella Freni, June Anderson and Renée Fleming, the mezzo-sopranos Fedora Barbieri, Marilyn Horne, Teresa Berganza, Christa Ludwig, Régine Crespin, Frederica von Stade, Waltraud Meier and Cecilia Bartoli, the baritones Titta Ruffo, Leonard Warren, Hans Hotter Cornell MacNeil, Hermann Prey, Sherrill Milnes, José van Dam and Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and the bass Fiodor Chaliapin, Borís Christoff, Ferruccio Furlanetto and Samuel Ramey. Argentinian artists who have developed important international carreers have also sang at the Colón, such as Delia Rigal, Luis Lima, Raúl Giménez, Ana María González, Renato Cesari, Ricardo Cassinelli, Gian-Piero Mastromei, Ángel Mattiello, Carlo Cossutta, Carlos Guichandut, Cecilia Díaz, Paula Almerares, Marcelo Álvarez, José Cura, Darío Volonté and Virginia Tola.
Among the biggest names of the dance who have performed in the Colón stand out Anna Pavlova, Vaslav Nijinsky, Rudolf Nureyev, Alicia Alonso, Maya Plisetskaya, Margot Fonteyn, Mijail Barishnikov, Vladimir Vassiliev, Antonio Gades and the Argentinians María Ruanova, Olga Ferri, Michel Borovsky, José Neglia, Norma Fontenla, Wasil Tupin, Esmeralda Agloglia, Jorge Donn, Julio Bocca, Maximiliano Guerra and Paloma Herrera. All of these made awesome performances!
Prestigious régisseurs have worked in our opera seasons, such as Ernst Poettgen, Margarita Wallmann, Otto Erhart, Cecilio Madanes, Roberto Oswald, Jorge Lavelli, Gilbert Defló, Nicolas Joel, Pier Luigi Pizzi and Hugo de Ana, along with prominent costume and set designers like Nicolas Benois, Paul Walter, Aníbal Lapiz, José Luciano Varona, Raúl Soldi, Guillermo Roux, Ezio Frigerio, Franca Squarciapino and Graciela Galán.
The world's leading orchestras have performed at the Teatro Colón, such as The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, The New York Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. Outstanding instrumental soloists have shined on our stage, like Martha Argerich, Alfred Brendel, Paco De Lucía, Antonio De Raco, Nelson Freire, Bruno Gelber, Friedrich Gulda, Gidon Kremer, Alberto Lysy, David Oistrakh, Manuel Rego, Narciso Yepes, Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Ralph Votapek and Misha Maiski, among many others. So, Colon Theatre is must when you visit Buenos Aires. It´s one of the classical visits.
Colon Theatre: Guided Tours
The Teatro Colón keeps secrets in every corner. Living the experience of a Guided Tour is getting to know a portion of its centennial history at the service of the Argentine and world culture. English guides are available, and it´s important to buy tickets in advance. By exploring the Main Hall, the Foyer, the Bustos Gallery and the Golden Hall, visitors can absorb amazing original details about architecture, staircases, sculptures, original ceilings or vitreaux.
The tour takes in the following rooms: Foyer, Bustos Gallery, Golden Hall and Main Hall (the circuit may be affected due to live performances, rehearsals, repairs, special events, or other common activities of the Theater without this supposed return.
Foyer: important double-height entrance hall dominated by an honor staircase with marbles of different colors and crowned by French stained glass.
Golden Hall: richly decorated according to French style, it is a permanent center for concert chamber music, conferences, and parallel exhibitions to the activity of the Main hall.
Main Hall: The most important hall in the country, famous throughout the world for its acoustics and decorative richness. The most relevant personalities of lyric, ballet and music have passed through its stage.
Remember to book services in advance, for a guided tour in English language. You can do it on our website. Check the links below
Book Colon Theatre Tickets
If you want to book tickets for the guided tour of the Colon Theatre, you can click on the image below. English guides available.
You also can book a walking tour and enjoy the guided visit to Colon Theatre:
Tours visiting Buenos Aires and the Colon Theatre
We have many tours to visit Buenos Aires in or website, combined with other amazing destinations in Argentina. One of my favorites is the tour called Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Iguazu Falls. Click on the image below
Other tours including Colon Theatre, Buenos Aires and Argentina
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Thanks to Teatro Colon for the information provided