Gran Teatro de La Habana
|Great Theatre of Havana|
|Location||458 Paseo de Prado
esquina a San Rafael
Havana, Cuba 10600
|Type||Opera house, Performing arts center|
|Genre(s)||Ballet, Opera, Flamenco, other|
|Opened||April 15, 1838|
|Capacity||1,500- The Garcia Lorca Auditorium|
The Gran Teatro de La Habana (Spanish "Great Theatre of Havana") is located in the Paseo del Prado in Havana, Cuba. It is located in a building known as the Palace of the Galician Centre, which was built as a place of social reunion for the Galician immigrants in Havana. The theatre has been home of the Cuban National Ballet and, on its main stage, of the International Ballet Festival of Havana. It facilities include theatres, a concert hall, conference rooms, and a video screening room, as well as an art gallery, a choral centre, and several rehearsal halls for danzarias groups and dance companies.
It was officially opened in 1838, although its first presentation occurred on November 1837.
The building known as The Great Tacón Theatre was demolished in 1907 to open the way to the one that currently exists, the Palace of the Galician Centre. The theatre is adorned with a stone and marble statue. There are also sculptures by Giuseppe Moretti, representing allegories depicting benevolence, education, music and theatre.
The construction of the current building, financed by donations of Galician emigrants, began in 1908 and was opened in 1915 with an opera season offered by important lyrical figures of the time. It was not until 1985, and at the initiative of the prima ballerina Alicia Alonso, that the building was renamed and became the Great Theatre of Havana.
The theatre today
The principal venue is the García Lorca Auditorium, with seats for 1,500; it provides a stage for the Cuban National Ballet Company, as well as for other dance and musical performances. During the 19th and 20th century performances took place on its stage by artists of the highest rank, such as Ole Bull, Enrico Caruso, Fanny Elssler, Anna Pavlova, Antonia Mercé, Ruth Saint Denis, Ted Shawn, Vicente Escudero, Maya Plisetskaya, Clorinda Corradi, Sarah Bernhardt, Carla Fracci and Alicia Alonso, as well remarkable companies such as the American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Antonio Gades ballet, the Ballet of the Colón Theatre of Buenos Aires, the Ballet Folclórico of Mexico, plus many other highly respected artists and ballet companies of the time.
The theatre also presents seasons of the Centre Pro-Art Lírico with its performances of operas, zarzuelas, operettas and concerts, plus the Spanish Ballet of Havana and performances by the Centre of Promotion of the Dance (PRODANZA). In addition, it is the location for the "Arte Lírico", the "Practical Courses of the National School of Ballet" ("CUBALLET"), the "Track of Spain" Festival, and as well the International Festival of Scenic Oral Narration, and several other festivals.
- El GRAN TEATRO DE LA HABANA es una de las más importantes instituciones culturales de América Latina.
- Radio Habana Cuba Article on The Great Theatre of Havana at the Wayback Machine (archived May 18, 2008)