Teatro Amazonas, Manaus (Brazil)
Teatro Amazonas is an opera house in Manaus, Brazil, in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. The "Amazon Theatre" was constructed with bricks brought from Europe, French glass, and Italian marble. More than 120 years old, it represents the city's heyday.
Teatro Amazonas ("Amazon Theatre") is an opera house in Manaus, Brazil, in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest. The theater's architectural style is considered typical Renaissance Revival.
Teatro Amazonas has 700 seats and was constructed with bricks brought from Europe, French glass, and Italian marble. More than 120 years old, it represents the city's heyday.
The theatre was built during the Amazon rubber boom, which occurred primarily between 1879 and 1912. Centered in the Amazon Basin, the boom resulted in fortunes being made, and a significant expansion of European colonization occurred in the area.
Construction of the Amazon Theatre was first proposed in 1881 by a member of the local House of Representatives, Antonio Jose Fernandes Júnior, who envisioned a grand opera house (a "jewel") in the heart of the Amazon.
Artists, designers and materials were imported from across Europe. For example, the roofing tiles were imported from Alsace, the steel walls from Glasgow, Scotland and the Carrara marble for the stairs, statues and columns from Italy.
Construction on the neo-classical-styled theater began in 1884. Work proceeded slowly over the following 15 years, with some stops and restarts between 1885 and 1892.
The theater's interior furnishings came from France in the Louis Quinze style. Italian artist Domenico de Angelis the Younger painted the panels that decorate the auditorium's ceilings and the audience chamber.
With its painting "Meeting of the Waters," Crispim do Amaral created the curtain in Paris. The theater's 198 chandeliers, including 32 Murano glass, were imported from Italy. The dome is covered with 36,000 decorated ceramic tiles painted in the colors of the national flag of Brazil.
Teatro Amazonas was finally inaugurated on December 31, 1896, with the first performance occurring on January 7, 1897, featuring the Italian opera La Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli.
As the rubber trade dwindled, the wealthy left town and the opera house eventually closed. It remained in limbo for 90 years without a single operatic performance.
In 2001, the new provincial government allocated funds to revive the theater. The plan worked, and today Teatro Amazonas is the location of the annual Festival Amazonas de Ópera (Amazonas Opera Festival).
Teatro Amazonas is also the home of the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra, which regularly rehearses and performs at the theater. In addition, performances, choirs, concerts, and an annual film festival are also held here.