15 Apr

Theatro da Paz: a neoclassical treasure on Amazon.

The Theater is located in the city of Belém, state capital of Pará. It was built with funds from the export of latex during the Rubber Cycle. Currently, it’s one of theatre’s most luxurious and largest of Brazil’s Northern Region. The Theatro da Paz, originally called Theatro Nossa Senhora da Paz, the name given by the bishop of the time Dom Macedo Costa, in honor of the end of the War of Paraguay, but the bishop decided to change it, noting that the name “Nossa Senhora” would be inappropriate to a space where performances were held mundane and even some religious representation.

Panoramic views of the Theatro da Paz. Source: www.souparaense.com mondobelem.wordpress.com

Perspective of the Theatro da Paz. Source: Thiago Ferrão.

Neoclassical features, the theatre was built at the height of the rubber exploitation in the Amazon. The designer of the first public theater in Belém, was the military engineer José Tibúrcio Pereira Magalhães from Pernambuco, who had as reference the Theater Allá Scala in Milan. However the original draw was changed, mainly through the intervention of the Department of Public Works. The cornerstone was laid on March 3, 1869 and the works was concluded in 1874.

Images of the Theatro da Paz in Belém do Pará. Source: The Green Club.

The Theater was inaugurated on February 15, 1878 with all the splendor that the moment, with a public of about a thousand people who accumulated over the street. Inside of it, when started spectacle, a picture of Dom Pedro II emerged, and then an orchestra of 150 musicians performed the national anthem. The inaugural show was the drama “Les Deux Orphelines” (The Two Orphans) by Adolphe D’Ennery, as sound of the symphony orchestra conducted by conductor Francisco Libanio Collás. Also took turns on stage performers known as the public of Belém: Vicente Pontes de Oliveira, Xisto Bahia, Joaquim Infante Câmara, Julio Xavier de Oliveira, Manuela Lucci, and others. The show was organized by the company of Vicente Pontes de Oliveira. The contract lasted five years, in which Vincente was responsible for lighting, decoration, choreography and theater scene accessories, in addition to organizing the presentations. Since its opening, hundreds of international companies presented themselves on stage at the Theater.

In this picture we have an internal image of the Theatro da Paz. Source: http://diariodopara.diarioonline.com.br

The Theater has undergone a major renovation in 1904, where its facade was altered, which was removed in a column above the front upper porch, which was in number 07, thus against the architectural principles of the neoclassical style, which requires an even numbers of columns in front facades. At the insistence of the International Art Society, the Governor of that time Augusto Montenegro demolished the facade consisted of a covered patio and rebuilt the facade going back and removing a column, and in vain that they originated, what was once composed of windows, had put busts symbolizing: dance, poetry, music and tragedy, and the center, the coat of weapon the state of Pará. However, the original architectural features were maintained.

Images of the porches existing on the facade of the Theatro da Paz. Source: Thiago Ferrão.

This reform gave the Theatro da Paz aspects of luxury that remained until today, with its array of statuary, some in bronze chandeliers brought from other countries, marble stairs, mosaic floors and fine wood decor rare. Nowadays the decoration is very rich in details, sides, courtyard surrounded by columns, stairs giving access to the Praça da República, armchairs that reproduce the shape of a horseshoe and others. In the lobby there are two carved marble busts that represented José de Alencar and Gonçalves Dias. In the hall, located next to a crystal mirror the busts of the conductors, Carlos Gomes and Henrique Gurjão. The spectacle room before settling down in 1100 reduced to 900 seats.

Internal images of the Theatro da Paz. Source: Carlos Macapuna.

The Theater also had the decorator Italian Domenico de Angelis who later decorated the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus. He was also the author of a panel that represents the Greek gods Apollo leading the goddess Aphrodite and the Muses of the arts to the Amazon, beautiful Amazon scenery that is the ceiling of the theater.

Decorations found in the Theatro da Paz. Source: The Green Club.

During the Rubber Cycle, the Theater had its heyday and was the scene of the most famous opera companies. However, with the decline of rubber, the Theatro da Paz has also gone through a critical period because it was often closed for lack of events and the restorations were not sufficient to assure a smooth operation. The Theatro da Paz was reopened on April 20, 2002 with the presentation of the Macbeth Opera of Giuseppe Verdi, in a special ceremony for the more than 250 workers who worked in retirement and other state authorities, with its recorded in the year 1963.

Currently the Theatro da Paz is one of the most important tourist attraction of Belém, tourists from the country and the world are frequent visitors in the artistic monument that open on Sundays in leafy square where is situated, is held a fair for the marketing of products and regional delicacies , in addition to short presentations by local artists. There by reaffirming the 133 years of history and culture.

Link the website of the Theatro da Paz: www.theatrodapaz.com.br/

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