Didem Doğan

Opera House: A touch of Europe in the middle of the jungle

The Amazones Theatre is the symbol of Manaus! It was built in late 19th century during the economic boom, a perfect example of European architecture and the renaissance style in the middle of the jungle! It is cited among the top ten opera houses of the world and celebrated its 120th anniversary last year in 2016. 

The theatre was built in fifteen years and most of the materials used in the construction were brought from Europe: the marble used in stairs and sculptures and the glass used in lamps were brought from Italy, the tiles used in the ceiling were brought from Alsace, the steel used in the walls from Scotland. 

We recommend you to take a guided tour as we did. We start the tour at the main audience hall, we sit on the pink velvet chairs and remain silent because the Philharmonic Orchestra is rehearsing at the moment. The hall is circled by pillars, each one of which carries the name of an artist, a composer, writer such as Wagner, Beethoven, Goethe, Verdi, … We climb to the upper floors and this time sit in the side boxes. The whole theatre can host up to 700 people, most of the concerts are held free of charge nowadays and we are lucky to listen to one of them (when it was opened in 1896 it was mainly for the elite though). 

The dome of the theatre is especially interesting because it is made of thousands of tiles that depict the Brazilian flag but they look as if they are made of glass under the tropical sunshine. The Square of San Sebastian in front of the theatre is always lively during the night, packed with locals, musicians, street vendors. At the middle of the square there is a four monument with sculptures of boats and baby angels, on which we read the names of the continents: Asia, Europe, America,… 

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