Published on July 24th, 2010 | by Mark Chesnut
In Buenos Aires, Enjoying the Colón Theater’s Restored Glory
When the Teatro Colón opened in 1908, it was one of the finest theaters in the world. Its acoustics were recognized as among the best for opera, and its stage attracted performers from around the world. Today, much of that glory has been restored, thanks to a massive restoration project, totaling around $25 million, that is in the final stages of being completed.
I was lucky enough to be invited to a performance here this week by Luciano Cazenave, the director of Friendly Apartments, one of the city’s largest short- and long-term apartment rental companies (it’s a popular alternative to hotels for even the shortest stay; I’ll feature information about my apartment experience in a future post).
Esconced in Luciano’s elegant box seats, our small group had a wonderful view of Don Giovanni, the Mozart classic. Honestly, I’m not much of an opera fan, but the sumptuously detailed setting, the impressive sets and lighting, and talented voices of the performers captured my attention. During the intermission, we made our way down a regal hallway lined with statues and busts to arrive at a salon where we joined well-dressed patrons to enjoy finger sandwiches and champagne.
The 2,500-seat main hall, a glistening gold dream, is hosting a full schedule of opera, ballet and concerts, as well as “Domingos de Cámara,” a series of free chamber concerts that take place on Sundays. Soon, guided tours of the facility will once again be available during the daytime. It’s wonderful to welcome one of the city’s most iconic landmarks back into public life.