Teatro Colon

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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My first experience watching an opera was nothing at all like I imagined.  I am rather naive and ignorant when comes to the performance of operas, although I am a religious fan of the music which I listen to regurlarly.  I always imaganed fat women in elaborate costumes belting out notes high enough to shatter your glass, but Cosi fan tutte was the complete opposite of my crude vision of the opera.
I arrived at the opera early enough to explore the levels and awe in the magnificance of the building itself.  As the second largest in the southern hemisphere the colon theater seats 2, 367 people with more room for a standing audience.  The first thing one notices upon entering the opera house is the brilliant chandelier in the center of the ceiling. If that was to fall no one in the floor seats would be left standing it is that large. The house was completely packed when the orchestra began the overture.  Mozart is one of my favorite composers and I was at the edge of my seat for the performance to begin.  The sets were simple, and the costumes elegant but not overly elaborate, unlike what I was expecting. I was sitting in the very last row of seats and was still able to hear perfectly clear the singers on the stage.  The opera house uses no microphones which made the clarity of the music and singing that much more impressive. 

During the intermission I had a glass of champagne and discussed the opera with my friends. There were a mixed feelings about the opera.  The opera was being sung in italian and the superittles were in spanish, so unless you knew italian or could read spanish rather well you were left to guess the dialogue.  The group that had taken the time to read the summary of the opera and learn the plot was enjoying the opera infinately more than the group who came unprepared.  It is very hard to sit through an opera especially one as long as Cosi fan tutte without a clue of what the story is about.  The intermission was brief and we returned to our seats just in time for the curtain.  The second half of the opera was my favorite, because it showcased the individual singers to a greater degree and really demonstrated their range and abilities. I was very impressed with the female soprano singer, it was absolutley beautiful music.  However, I was in the cheaper seats, thus leg room was hard to come by and my neck was getting a kink from leaning to the right to avoid the poll that was obstructing my view.  I realized however there were people standing behind me and had been standing for four hours just to watch and listen to this opera, and it made me appreciate the music that much more knowing that people would stand uncomfortably for so long just to experience the beauty of Mozart.

After the opera ended and the curtain fell I took one last glance around the room.  I couldnĀ“t help but imagine Evita and Peron sitting in one of the boxes enjoying an opera or maybe one of the Generals of the dirty war.  The history of the building stretches for almost a century and I was able to experience some of it even if only for a short while. The opera in Buenos Aires is an experience I will never forget.

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