The Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires

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The Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires - thanks to aprillynn77 for the imageThe Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires is one of the largest opera theatres in the world. Every stair case, painting, and column tells a story and the building oozes with history and tradition. The theatre is currently under construction which means that watching an opera from the balconies of Colon is not an option; however if you are lucky you may be able to catch one of their tours.

Ornate ArchitectureFrom the streets of Buenos Aires, the beautiful adornments of Teatro Colon pull you in; but what lies inside the walls is even more incredible. The architecture is ornate and extremely detailed. Francesco Tamburini was the original Italian engineer who began construction on the building and left his blueprints, so that the building could eventually be completed.

The theatre opened its doors to the public on May 25th, 1908. This is just an intro to the complete history of the immaculate building that is explained throughout the tour by the well-informed guides. They share a story or a piece of history with you upon entering each new room and they are readily available to answer any questions that you have as well.

Beautiful StairwayThe first room you enter is the only one where cameras are allowed. The room and displays within are lit up with the constant camera flashes of the visitors attempting to capture the beauty of the location until the guides inform everyone that it is time to move on.

As we walked through the greeting room to the theatre I began to envision the beautiful building full of Argentina’s finest, dressed in their fancy gowns and tuxes. Our first view of the stage was from the balconies on the second level. Our guide pointed out the president’s box, where the orchestra plays, the stage level seating, and even the widow boxes hidden below.

Balconies On the Second LevelBack when the theatre was first constructed those women who had been widowed were not supposed to be seen at a public event. These boxes were placed in the basement with metal caged windows that allowed the women to look out and see the stage; but prevented others from looking in. The presence of the stage and the beautiful decoration is incredible. In combination with the performers, the music, the audience, and the acoustics of the building, I can only image what it would be like to be sitting there on the night of an opera.

Old Musical InstrumentThe tour also consisted of a behind the scenes view of the costume designers’ department, make up artists, storage rooms, preserved props, and even the dancers. In the basement the professional dancers of Teatro Colon were hard at work. Amidst the noise and disturbance of us theatre visitors, and the yells of their ever present dance instructor, they managed to stay focused and on task, performing beautiful dance moves.

The complete tour lasts for just over an hour and the experience is so good that it will make you consider a return trip in 2008, when the doors are reopened and the ballets and operas commence.

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