The Colón Theater opened on October 27, 1892 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to America, and was reopened in July 2014 after a renovation that began in 2008. The restoration of the front curtain, which features “dolls” or “monkeys” drawn on a nineteenth-century linen cloth, was an important part of this renovation.
The Theatre Colon, a national monument since 1975, stands on the site of two earlier theaters the Coliseo Ramirez and the Teatro Maldonado. The Colon was built between 1886 and 1895 to a design by the Italian Pietro Cantini, with sculptures and decorations by other artists such as Cesare Sighinolfi, Philippo Mas Phones Lari, Pietro Mernani, and Luigi Ramelli. Their descendants still keep the old plaster workshop in the heart of the Candelaria neighborhood. The foyer is richly decorated with frescoes. The main curtain, a presentation of the great figures of opera, is the work of Annibale Gatti, from Florence. There is a wealth of wood-carvings on the boxes and the central chandelier is magnificent. The theater is home to the Symphony Orchestra and is used for concerts, plays, ballet, and opera. Its 938 people capacity, distributed between five levels, has witnessed the Colombian cultural development.
Besides the main hall, other rooms are available at the Theater: The Victor Mallarino room, and the multipurpose Foyer. Lectures and other events linked to the art activity taking place at the theater are also held in this place. Is the stage for different cultural programs, among which Ciclo Colon Electrónico stands out, as it aims at disseminating electronic and electroacoustic music. They also stand out Matinales Infantiles (performances for children, in the morning), which take place every Sunday; concerts with Orquesta Sinfónica de Colombia; plays; musical concerts, and opera and Spanish operetta performances with national and international groups.
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