Teatro Colón

Teatro Colón
Columbus Theatre

Teatro Colón is located in Buenos Aires
Teatro ColónTeatro Colón is located in Buenos Aires
Teatro Colón
General information
TypeArts complex
Architectural styleEclecticism
LocationBuenos Aires, Argentina
Construction started1889
Height28 metres
Diameter58 metres
Technical details
Structural systemConcrete
Design and construction
ArchitectOfficial website
Teatro Colón at night
1864 view of the original Teatro Colón (at left) and the old Plaza de Mayo colonnade, both long since demolished.
The first theatre (left), in front of Plaza de Mayo in 1881, photo by Alexander Witcomb.
A 1935 gala premiere
Teatro Colón, 2010

The Teatro Colón (Spanish: Columbus Theatre) is the main opera house in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is considered one of the ten best opera houses in the world by National Geographic,[1] and is acoustically considered to be amongst the five best concert venues in the world.[2]

The present Colón replaced an original theatre which opened in 1857. Towards the end of the century it became clear that a new theatre was needed and, after a 20-year process, the present theatre opened on 25 May 1908, with Giuseppe Verdi's Aïda.

The Teatro Colón was visited by the foremost singers and opera companies of the time, who would sometimes go on to other cities including Montevideo, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

After this period of huge international success, the theatre's decline became clear and plans were made for massive renovations. After an initial start of works to restore the landmark in 2005, the theatre was closed for refurbishment from October 2006 to May 2010. It re-opened on 24 May 2010, with a programme for the 2010 season.[3]


The Colón theater operated in two buildings, the first located in the Plaza de Mayo until 1888 and the second located in front of the Plaza Lavalle, which took 20 years to be built until its inauguration in 1908. This land formerly housed the Park Station, the first railway station of the Argentine Republic as head of the Western Railway of Buenos Aires.[4][5]

Throughout its history the main figures of opera, classical music and world ballet have performed in the Colón theater, such as Arturo Toscanini, Nijinski, Caruso, Regina Pacini, Anna Pavlova, Maia Plissetskaya, Margot Fonteyn, Mikhail Barishnikov, Antonio Gades, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky, Camille Saint-Saens, Manuel de Falla, Aaron Copland, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, Mstislav Rostropovich, Zubin Mehta, Maria Callas, Yehudi Menuhin, Pau Casals, Rudolf Nureyev, Maurice Béjart, Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, Luciano Pavarotti, Lily Pons, Victoria de los Angeles, Montserrat Caballé, Kiri Te Kanawa, among others, and Argentine artists such as Adelaida Negri,[6] Héctor Panizza, Alberto Ginastera, Jorge Donn, Norma Fontenla, José Neglia, Olga Ferri, Julio Bocca , Maximiliano Guerra, Paloma Herrera, Daniel Barenboim, Marta Argerich, Astor Piazzolla and other popular artists such as Chaqueño Palavecino, Valeria Lynch, Patricia Sosa, Palito Ortega, Marilina Ross and the singer curtain of Karina "La Princesita" 10 who also accessed their tables in the last decade.

Among the main events of its history are the creation of stable bodies in the 1920s and its municipalization in 1931. In 1946, Peronism promoted a policy of openness to popular music and greater democratization of the public, which was Reverted after its overthrow in 1955 and again resumed when democracy recovered in 1983.

In 2006 a full restoration work was started that would extend until 2010, when it was reopened on May 24 in commemoration of the Bicentennial of Argentina.