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Teatro Colón: The Most Important Opera House in the World

Argentina's iconic venue racks up more accolades.

By | [email protected] | October 19, 2018 2:45pm

Photo via Habitués del Teatro Colón

Argentina is already home to the best steak and some of the best football players in the world, or that’s what we’d like to think, but we’ve now got the stamp of approval for being the home to the most important opera house in the world. Well, at least according to the Italian travel site Travel365, which considers the Teatro Colón “a true monument of theatrical, lyrical, and acoustic art, undoubtedly the best of all time.”

In the ranking of the “15 most important opera houses in the world,” the Colón took top spot, followed by Milan’s La Scala and Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Italy.

María Victoria Alcaraz, the General Director of the theater, also told Infobae: “It is an honor for the Teatro Colón and for the city of Buenos Aires; this recognition renews the prestige and international significance for the first Argentine coliseum.”

She also explained that this was all made possible by the “daily effort of artists and theater workers who have sustained the commitment to provide excellence to the local and international public.”

It’s hardly surprising that Teatro Colón came in first place, having celebrated countless world-class operas, ballets, and classical music acts for just over a hundred years. Among the notable who have passed through its doors are María Callas, Astor Piazzola, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, and Luciano Pavarotti, who even said that he was nervous to perform because the acoustics were so flawless.

Image result for teatro colon

(Photo via Clarín)

The history of this place is also intriguing because there was in fact another Colón. The old theater was originally located in the Plaza de Mayo, which held performances between 1857 and 1888. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a popular place to go for the porteños.

Since moving to its new location, a great deal of mystery has always lurked around the esteemed theater. The first stone was laid in 1890 by Italian architect Francesco Tamburin, tragically he died just one year later. His partner Victor Meano took over, though the project had to stop in 1894 due to lack of funds. Even more strangely, he was later murdered in 1904 after getting mixed up in some sort of bizarre love triangle (sounds like the plot of some tragic opera).

The Colón finally opened after nearly twenty years of construction on May 25, 1908. In opening night, it hosted an opera by Guiseppe Verdi which left the large crowd speechless. The array of different architects involved in its establishment has led to an extremely unique design, full of different perspectives, and now spans 8,200 square meters and houses 2,487 spectators.

So if you haven’t already visited the top opera house in the world, perhaps it’s time that you did.

The Complete Rankings

  1. Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  2. La Scala, Milan, Italy
  3. Teatro Massimo, Palermo, Italy
  4. Opera Garnier, Paris, France
  5. Opera House, Vienna, Austria
  6. Royal Opera House, London, England
  7. Gran Teatro La Frenice, Venice, Italy
  8. Metropolitan Opera House, New York, United States
  9. State Theater, Prague, Czech
  10. Fox Theater, Detroit, United States
  11. Opera House, Copenhagen, Denmark
  12. Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, Russia
  13. Opera House, Sydney, Australia
  14. Opera del Margave, Bayreuth, Germany
  15. Teatro San Carlo, Napoli, Italy