This building impresses in the landscape of Havana. It is one of the icons of the city along with the Capitol and the Morro. With a fascinating neo-baroque style according to European models, it stands out for its elegant balconies, windows, cornices and towers. The carvings and sculptures in stone are of exquisite fineness. In the main facade, can be appreciated in white marble, sculptures representing allegories of Beneficence, Education, Music and Theater.
In its beginnings it was known as the Tacón Theater and considered the largest and most luxurious of the American continent. Its 90 boxes and more than 20 rows offered the capacity to receive about two thousand spectators. Another decorative element of interest is the enormous and beautiful lamp of fine French glass in the form of Spider that still hangs on the platea.
Over the years, the Tacón became the main stage that was attended by the Creole aristocracy. Important international personalities of the opera, ballet, music magazine and zarzuela paraded in its stage. Among these, it is worth mentioning actresses like Sarah Bernhart and Eleonora Dusse, the sopranos Adelina Patti and Victoria of the Angels, the tenor Enrico Caruso and the musicians Arthur Rubinstein and Serguei Rachmáninov.
From 1985 the complete building was renamed Great Theater of Havana. It recently received a complete repair that returned all its splendor. From September 2015, it began to be named Great Theater of Havana “Alicia Alonso” in tribute to the outstanding Ballerina Assoluta.
It currently functions as a cultural complex composed of several theater rooms. The main room, called Federico García Lorca, has a capacity for 1500 people. Outside you can visit the Café Adagio, where chamber music recitals are offered. The building is home to the National Ballet of Cuba, the National Lyric Theater and the Spanish Ballet of Cuba. In the lobby are announced the works to be represented, the dates and prices of entry. Guided tours are available daily in the theater.
The repertoire of the Cuban dance company is wide. Among the most cherished choreographies are Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Ballet Carmen and Giselle. The twenty-five editions of the Havana International Ballet Festival have been held here since 1960. Important companies such as the Bolshoi Ballet of Moscow, Washington, Geneva and Buenos Aires meet in this famous scenery.
For visit: Paseo del Prado avenue between San Rafael & San José streets, Habana Vieja (“23.13701, -82.35931”). Guided visits from tuesday to friday.
by: Leunam Rodríguez