One of the world’s top 10 opera houses is right here in Buenos Aires. With the city often being referred to as ‘The Paris of the West’ a building as grand as this doesn’t look out of place. The Teatro Colon is most definitely a striking sight.
I’m not really a huge fan of opera. That’s not to say that I can’t appreciate the work and skill that goes into a production. It’s evident from the moment that you walk into the grand hall of this building that you are somewhere very special.
If you arrive feeling in need of refreshment there is a cafe just opposite the box office serving tea and cakes. A very grand cafe it is too. Tours are available here every 15 minutes in English and in Spanish, although be careful when ordering tickets to specify which one you would like. I ordered in Spanish and ended up with a tour…..in Spanish.
The tickets for the tour cost $600 ARS (£12) for a 50 minute experience behind the scenes of this amazing building. Our tour guide was friendly and spoke at a steady pace so we could understand most of what he was trying to tell us. In Buenos Aires you almost absorb Spanish by osmosis.
We began in a museum area that featured costumes worn by famous stars of both opera and theatre productions down the years. Our guide reeled off a list of names that had performed at the theatre featuring some very well known stars.
The tour then heads upstairs to an area that houses the very place that the performers get ready before they take to the stage. The grand feel of this is like being in a palace. The chandeliers, the gold, the smell of money – it’s absolutely incredible.
Back down the stairs takes you to the entry area for the paying public. A walk through a curtain and the arena reveals itself. This is enormous. Every single side of the theatre is exactly the same providing even acoustics and views.
Sitting in the seats while our tour guide made his closing speech, you couldn’t help but gaze at the stage. A night at this particular opera must be very special indeed. The sound of those rehearsing on the stage reverberated around us like thunder. An amazing feeling.
The beauty can be expressed through pictures but the feel is something that you only get when you’re actually there. If you can’t get to a live production when in Buenos Aires definitely get yourself on a tour of this amazing theatre.
Nearest Subte: Tribunales