A Day at the Opera

On our way to the Washington Monument, er…, the Obelisco, we stopped at one of Buenos Aires’ most famous landmarks, the Teatro Colón – the Grand Opera of Buenos Aires.

This building was built in 1908 and was only recently reopened following a six year renovation. Its original construction was funded by the wealthy families of the city in an attempt to buttress the claim that Buenos Aires is the “Paris of the South.”

We took a tour (in english) and we hope to return to see a performance in March when we stop here overnight before flying home. But just seeing the inside of this magnificent structure was worth the effort.

Here’s the foyer at the main entrance into the Teatro:

Just look at the balustrade with its pink and yellow marble, scrubbed clean of its century of smoke and grime…

On the mezzanine level, each entry into the main hall is adorned with the bust of a famous operatic composer. Here’s Wagner, glowering at the tourists:

This is where the elite of old Buenos Aires society came to see and be seen. The gallery above the foyer was intentionally designed to look French, copying the look of Versailles.

The main hall seats nearly 3,000 and is said to have some of the finest acoustics of any classical opera hall in the world.

The bottom box on the right in the photo, above, was reserved for the President of the country; the bottom box on the left, for the Mayor and City council.

Inside the great hall, there are seven seating levels as you can see in the photo, below:

Supposedly, the acoustics are enhanced by the ventilation that runs beneath the floor, allowing the bass notes to resonate through the floorboards, exiting the grates underneath each seat:

We really hope we’re able to make arrangements to return for a performance; who knows: maybe we’ll even get these great seats again!

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