The Amazonas Theater is a Brazilian opera theater, located in Manaus, state of Amazonas, Brazil. The theater was inaugurated on December 31, 1896, The first performance takes place on January 7, 1897 with the Italian opera, La Gioconda, by Amilcare Ponchielli. It has been restored four times, at first in 1929, 1974 and more recently between 1988 and 1990, and it currently has 701 seats covered in red velvet.
Today, the theater is also the site of an annual film festival. The theater was built during the Belle Époque, while great fortunes were made in the region with rubber extraction. The construction of the Amazonas theater was first proposed in 1881 by a member of the House of Representatives, Antonio José Fernandes Júnior, the idea would be to build a jewel in the heart of the Amazon rainforest and make Manaus a great center of civilization. By 1884, construction was ready to begin, under the direction of the Italian architect Celestial Sacardim, who designed a Renaissance style with advanced technology, including electric lighting.
The roofing material came from Alsace and the outer dome is covered with 36,000 decorated ceramic tiles, painted in the colors of the national flag. The furniture, in Louis XV style, a large part of the company Koch Freres, arrived from Paris. From Italy came carrara marble for the stair, statues, and columns. Steel walls were ordered to England. The theater has 198 chandeliers, 32 of them in Murano glass. The curtain, with its painting of "The Meeting of the Waters" was realized in Paris by Crispim do Amaral, it represents the union of the Black river and the Solimões river to form the Amazon. The beautiful panels that decorate the ceiling of the auditorium and the auditorium chamber were painted by the Italian Domenico de Angelis.
Manaus has become the focus of musical migration from the most unlikely countries. Some of the best musicians in Eastern Europe have been tempted by orchestras like that of Kirov and have come to Manaus with much higher salaries. In fact, 39 of the 54 members of the Amazonas Philharmonic Orchestra are from Bulgaria, Belarus and Russia. Even the archivist is from Belarus.
The theater is very beautiful, and is accessible for visits with a guide. In the fast food restaurant a lot of plaques are placed on the wall showing artists that have played in the theater. At night it is lit beautifully! Nobody expected that there would be such a neat and elegant theater in the middle of Amazon jungle. It's nicely built just like ones in Europe, definitely a must see if you are in Manaus.