Argentina Theater Part 2

The same company also gave rise to musical life, setting up an orchestra and organizing auditions directed by Maestro Giovanni Argentina Picazzarri, with arias and opera pieces. Finally, in 1825, the Barber of Seville could be represented in its entirety, followed gradually, in the following years, by L’Inganno FeliceCenerentolaL’Italiana in AlgeriOtelloTancredi, by Rossini himself, Juliet and Romeo. by Zingarelli, The Vestal of Pucitta.

The war with Brazil, internal anarchy, tyranny then made the theater almost completely disappear, and from 1830 to 1838, as soon as isolated and variety shows are remembered in Buenos Aires, mixed with song, pantomime, dance, magic and magic exercises. illusionism, alternating with short dramatic seasons by the renowned actors Casacuberta, Matilde Díez and Manuelita Funes. So much decadence was attributed to the deficiency of the place, which the owner kept in a very bad state, and thus several construction projects appeared. Some actors who formed a cooperative induced a capitalist to build a new theater in via Victoria, which was inaugurated in 1838. The Coliseo in the main square, too, took the name of Argentino, attempted a recovery, as its owner decided to intensify its activity with a company directed by Casacuberta; but the political events, the blockade of the French and British squads, the civil war in the north, the disagreements between the unitaries and the federations, so disorganized the companies and brought so much panic into Argentine society, that the theaters had a precarious life, supported only by pantomimes, dances and some works (Italian artists such as Nina Barbieri, the Tani brothers, the baritone Vaccani, the soprano Luisa Pretti, etc. distinguished themselves there).

With the fall of the despotic government of Rosas, stability and order in the ruling classes favored the economic development and progress of the city. The ancient theater, which had begun to be built in 1804 and was then abandoned, was completed on the plans of the engineer. Carlos E. Pellegrini, decorated by the painters Cheronetti, Verazzi and Georgi, endowed with the latest scenic discoveries, and entrusted by the construction company – with the name of Teatro Colón – to the Italian impresario Lorini. It was solemnly inaugurated on April 25, 1857, with La Traviata by Verdi, sung by soprano Vera Lorini, tenor Tamberlik, and contralto Cassaloni. For those times it was a magnificent hall, with a twelve-meter proscenium, a large stalls with numbered chairs, three tiers of boxes, a gallery for ladies and a gallery. The greatest singers from all over the world passed on the stage. The entrepreneurs Pieces, Pestalardo and Ferrari, organized the Colón companies from 1860 to 1889, with artists such as Tamberlik, Mirate, Gayarre, Masini, Tamagno, Stagno, Kaschman, Battistini, Vera Lorini, Borghi-Manno, Scalchi- Lolli, Theodorini, Stahl, Colonnese, etc.

At that time the theaters of Buen OrdenFederaciónParque ArgentinoPorvenirJardín de la EsmeraldaFloridaEl AlcázarEl Recreo were built, all of which have since disappeared. Shortly thereafter (1873) the Variedades theater was built in a piece of land between Streets Esmeralda and Corrientes, later called Ba – ta – clan, and, rebuilt in 1890, it finally took the name, which it retains, of Odeón: small elegant room, very suitable as a prose scene. In 1871 an Italian impresario, Antonio Pestalardo, built the Teatro de la Ópera, which, reformed in 1881, became the most important opera scene in Buenos Aires between 1890 and 1908: it was where Caruso’s fame began. The Politeama theater, which was an equestrian circus, was used for stage shows in 1879, and among its scenes the most famous dramatic actors and singers paraded (Patti, Tamagno, Stagno, la Barrientos, Pacini, la Duse, la Bernhardt, Novelli, Zacconi) , imported by the famous entrepreneurs Cesare Ciacchi and Leopoldo Bernabei. The San Martín theater (formerly called La gaieté and, later, Skating – ring) was built by the Italian entrepreneurs Ghiglione and was inaugurated in 1887.

The Casino was built by the French impresario MJ Forlet, an actor who came with Coquelin to the ancient Alcázar ; and it was dedicated by him to the genus of variety with the name of Folies – Forlet. In 1880 the Teatro Nacional was built in via Florida, which welcomed Giacinta Pezzana, Rafael Calvo, Leopoldo Buron, Eva Tetrazzini, Maria Tubau, Leopoldo Fregoli, Tina di Lorenzo, etc. The building was destroyed by fire in 1895. The Pasatempo, built by M. Forlet in Paraná street, was for a long time the elegant café-concert. On the corner of Victoria and Uruguay streets, a wealthy amateur built the Onrubia Theater, now Victoria, in which Ferruccio Garavaglia recited. A theater in via Santa Fe was also called Nacional, and another one located in via Corrientes. The great development of the city in recent years has multiplied the halls of performances to such an extent that we can only mention the names of the theaters NuevoGeneral BelgranoSplendidComediaMarconi(ancient Doria), SmartArgentino (ancient Zarzuela), MaipoFloridaPueyrredónSolísDe VeranoCómicoApoloAteneoLiceo (ancient Rivadavia), without counting those used for cinema.

Having passed the building of the old Colón theater to another use in 1889, the impresario Ferrari obtained the municipal concession to build the new Colón in front of the Lavalle square; but the financial difficulties in which he found himself meant that the Town Hall directly assumed the construction on the plans of the Italian architect F. Meano; and the solemn inauguration took place in 1908. The Colón is one of the most important theaters in the world, not only for its magnificence and for the means at its disposal, but because the official opera seasons that take place there are supervised and directed by a municipal administrative council which has the task of keeping the artistic level of the shows high. The most famous actors of recent years have passed through his scenes: the companies Ciacchi Longinotti, De Rosa, Mocchi,

The eminent Spanish actress María Guerrero, director of the Spanish Theater Company of Madrid, and her husband Don Fernando Díaz de Mendoza, regularly visited Buenos Aires almost every year, completing seasons in the Odeón theater. In 1912 the two artists decided to build a special theater for themselves, and with the funds provided by Argentine banks and capitalists they built the Cervantes theater, a beautiful baroque-style building, based on a project by Eng. Aranda. The performance of Cervantes however, for many years it was not sufficient for the payment of interest and amortization sums; and the creditors liquidated their positions, handing over the property to the state which keeps it at the disposal of the Conservatory of music and declamation. On the initiative of Mrs. Regina Pacini de Alvear, the House of the theater was founded, a shelter for artists and at the same time the seat of the Society of authors, artists and entrepreneurs.

Among the Argentine actors who have acquired fame (many of them are of Italian origin), we should remember: the Podestà family, initiator of the Teatro Nacional, the Petrai, Pagano, Parravicini, Battaglia, Rico, Ratti, Casaux, Quiroga, De Rosas, Rivera, Muiño, etc. Among the Argentine singers of some fame there are Juana Capello, Hina Spani, Luisa Bertana, Folco Bottaro, Marcelo Urízar, etc.

There is no important city in the interior that is without a theater, and foreign companies (especially the Italian companies of Niccodemi, Falconi, Pirandello, Melato) have often made lucky tours there.

Argentina Theater 2