May 17, 2021

The Colón Theater, the Argentine cultural emblem to entertain the leaders of the G20

The Colón Theater, the Argentine cultural emblem to entertain the leaders of the G20

In an agenda full of meetings, pacts, handshakes and tension, the world leaders who arrive this week in Buenos Aires to participate in the G20 summit will have a short break on Friday to enjoy the Teatro Colón, one of the cultural emblems from Argentina.

The iconic building, one of the symbols of Buenos Aires for 110 years, will host the leaders of the twenty largest developed and developing economies in the world to offer a show that will show "different artistic expressions" of the country.

The TeatroColón, located on 9 de Julio Avenue, the main thoroughfare of Buenos Aires, will exhibit its characteristic architecture and unique acoustics to entertain international guests and their couples and offer the best image of Argentina facing the outdoors.

The space was recently recognized as the best lyric theater by the Italian travel website Travel365, ahead of the Scala in Milan and the Teatro Massimo in Palermo.

The voices of singers such as Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Enrico Caruso and Claudia Muzio have been heard among its walls, and dancers such as Mikhail Barishnikov, Vaslav Nijinski, Margot Fonteyn and Maia Plisetskaia have performed.

Last year, the Argentine media echoed the words of the German Jonas Kaufmann in an interview on the television channel France 2 when he was asked about the "most magical" place in which a tenor can sing.

"Perhaps the most fascinating theater in the world, but above all with the ideal acoustics of the world, is the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, it is truly incredible, it has an acoustic dream, you want to take it and take it with you," Kaufmann answered to the surprise of the presenter. .

Gustavo Basso, in charge of the restoration project of the Teatro Colón (2006-2010) at an acoustic level with Rafael Sánchez Quintana, explained to Efe the secrets of his "ideal" sound.

"As an opera theater, it has to have characteristics that are very difficult to achieve at the same time, on the one hand, that the word is understood, on the other hand, there has to be a certain musical quality for the instruments of artists." In general, these two things do not go together, "said Basso.

El Colón not only meets both requirements, but also competes on equal terms with the best symphonic music halls in the world, although this is not its original function.

In addition, it has the peculiarity that the type of sound is different in the different locations of the room.

The specialist in acoustics commented that this, far from being a disadvantage, is an advantage, since the public can choose which type of sound they like best, whether a lighter one or a more enveloping one.

However, the feeling that is achieved at the Teatro Colón, far from having been studied meticulously since its inception, was achieved rather fortunately.

Basso said that the original architect of the project, Francesco Tamburini, confessed in a book that he knew nothing about acoustics nor did he know what to do with the theater to make it sound good.

"What Tamburini did was copy other models and he was lucky that he copied very well", summarized the expert.

After more than a hundred years of performances, the Colón already has its own "family" of artists, including the director of the Compañía Nacional de Danza Contemporánea, Margarita Fernández, and the guest conductor of the Argentine National Music Orchestra. , Carlos Vieu.

Fernandez said that, with the visit, "Argentina will give the G20 part of its cultural heritage", while Vieu highlighted its perfect acoustics and its "incredible aesthetic beauty".

In spite of the praises to its architecture, the construction of the Columbus was plagued of misfortunes from its very beginning, in 1889, since the Italian Francesco Tamburini, died to the two years of beginning the work.

His partner, the architect Víctor Meano, agreed to continue with the project, but in 1894 the works were stalled due to financial reasons, which prevented Meana from finishing the theater before his death in 1904.

After the two Italians, it was the turn of the Belgian Jules Dormal, who introduced some structural modifications with respect to his predecessors and left his stamp on the French style of the decoration of Columbus, which finally opened in 1908, sixteen years after planned, but with a result that was left for the story.


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