The majestic Amazon Theater was built in the period of Amazonian wealth, known as Belle Époque, where the latex extracted from the rubber tree fostered the Amazonian economy.
The time also known as “apformoseamento”, according to the author Otoni Mesquita, was when Manaus underwent intense changes, where the city’s streams were grounded, squares built, trees cut, and later afforestation in the new built city. Manaus was the showcase of the Portuguese colonization way of life, demonstrating its success, through which the upper echelon sought to show the slender city to investors at the time.
Amazon Theater was inaugurated on December 31, 1896, by Governor Eduardo Ribeiro. It took approximately 13 years to build, with parts imported from several countries.
The primary purpose of the construction of the Amazon Theater was to show the impetuosity of the colony, so that people from the top ranks could witness exclusive cultural performances. In no way was the Theater designed for the “lower” economic class. It was built so that the more affluent could show how powerful they were at the time, having as the first operatic performance of the “La Gioconda” Theater, made in 1897 by Amilcare Ponchielli.
With a Renaissance and eclectic architectural style, the composition of the building involves several artists such as Crispim do Amaral, responsible for the construction of the internal hall and Domenico de Angelis, responsible for the ornamentation of the noble hall.
The pieces from various parts of the world also gave composition to the work, such as irons, sculptures, and the 36,000 enamelled ceramic tiles brought from Alsace and painted by Lourenço Machado, which make up the dome of the Theater.
Naturally, over time, due to historical contexts, the theater became accessible to everyone who wanted to see the performances. Today, in addition to being considered the main Opera House of Amazonas, it is also a national artistic historical heritage, patented by IPHAN in 1966.
Amazon Theater, considered one of the seven wonders of Brazil, has played host to many famous artists such as The White Stripes, Milton Nascimento, Heitor-Villas Lobos, tenor José Carreras of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and since 1997 has promoted the Amazonas Festival of Opera.
The Amazon Theater, which was created for the elite of the 19th century, today took on another meaning and registers a remarkable period in Brazilian history, which will always be remembered.