New halls and a Cava is now open in the majestic Great Theatre of Havana Alicia Alonso
“El Gran Teatro de la Havana Alicia Alonso” (Great Theatre of Havana Alicia Alonso) reopened after three years of restoration. Next to the Capitol, it seems to bless the “renovated” Old Havana. Today, local people and visitors have to make an almost compulsory stop in their daily schedule, and take a couple of minutes to appreciate every single detail of the majestic building with such an eclectic style in the middle of the old city.
For some locals in Havana this theatre shouldn’t be located in the middle of the crowded and always buzzing Central Havana, but in a more refined town; though that’s one of the main reasons that makes it a historical and architectonic Cuban jewel.
Officially inaugurated in 1838 as Great Theatre Tacon, it is one of ancient institutions of its kind in Latin America and since then, it has welcomed top worldwide recognised artists as the ballerina Ana Pavlova and the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. The main purpose of the building’s construction, back in the XIX century, was to host the Galician Centre of Havana; but since then it has changed name and purposes several times. It has witnessed important events in Cuba’s history and even beyond; was in a hall of this theatre were Antonio Meucci, an Italian inventor associated with Giuseppe Garibaldi, tested the first trials of acoustic transmission that later on led him to the invention of the telephone.
After years of restoration all the auditoriums has been refurbished and new ones have been inaugurated. The historical Federico Garcia Lorca Hall, also known as “the heart of the theatre” (headquarter of the Cuban National Ballet since 1960 and one of the greatest opera halls of Cuba) has been meticulously revitalized and seems to be living in a golden era.
Garcia Lorca Hall
The Ernesto Lecuona and Alejo Carpentier Halls have also been refurbished and they look just spectacular, according the national press. The Ernesto Lecuona Hall now has 165 seats and still remains Cuban’s cradle of classic and concert music; whereas the Alejo Carpentier Hall nowadays has the same style and accommodation structure of the original designs (in the 1800’s): an open concert hall with a central stage where the orchestra performs bringing their best to the public.
To the traditional spaces new halls have been opened as well: El Tablao Flamenco (The Flamenco Stage) specially designed to host small contemporary dance companies and live music performances. Also Cafe Intermezzo opened to the Cuban and international public, promises an unforgettable experience to the customers, mixing lyric and culinary art.
Another plus to this majestic building is the exclusively inaugurated “The Cava”, a fascinating place with a sober design and a seductive lighting, made just for special occasions offering an unequal wine tasting experience in Havana.
Plus one of the recognise symbols of the theatre have changed: the name. It was Great Theatre of Havana but now, as an honour and a privilege of all Cubans it’s been named after our prima ballerina assoluta and greatest choreographer of all times, the one and only Alicia Alonso, current director of the National Ballet of Cuba.
After three years of restoration now the property is brightest as ever, showing renovated Carrara marble sculptures and taking the breath to those who admire the beauty of such a relevant building in the national culture. From January the 19th the theatre will be open to the public, with guided tours and special offers to the visitors. The Great Theatre of Havana remains, without hesitation, of one the magnificent places in the whole Latin America.