The project and the inauguration

By Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

Side stained Glass by Feuerstein e Fugel | Photo of Júlia RónaiMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

The Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro is one of the main cultural institutions in the country.
The history of its construction starts in October 1903 when a public competition was open to choose the architectural design.

Design for the facade of Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro: Isadora (1903) by Albert Désiré GuilbertMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

Design for the facade of Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro: Aquilla (1903) by Francisco Oliveira PassosMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

The projects "Isadora" and "Aquilla" achieved the same number of votes from the jury. The "Aquilla" had the secret author Francisco de Oliveira Passos, son of the Mayor Francisco Pereira Passos, whose urban reforms initiated in 1902 have radically changed the appearance of the center of Rio de Janeiro.
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Final design for the facade of Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro (1903) by Federal District Major of Rio de JaneiroMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

The final design came from the fusion of the two winning projects.

Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro. (1905)Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

The construction works started in January 1905. The cornerstone of the building was placed on 20th May of that year.

School students using dance costumes (1905-06-20)Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro. (1905)Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro (1905-09-20) by Augusto MaltaMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro (1905-10-20) by Augusto MaltaMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

The construction and decoration works of the Municipal Theater will last four and a half years.

Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro (1906-08-12) by Augusto MaltaMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

Just one year after the start of the construction it was possible to see the magnificence and beauty of the future theater.

Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro (1919) by Augusto MaltaMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

On July 14th 1909 the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro was inaugurated, beginning the history of the main theater in the country, place of great concerts, operas and balls.

Inauguration of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro by ReproductionMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

Act of the inauguration of the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater - 14 july 1909 (1909-07-14) by Major of the Federal DistrictMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

Inauguration of the Municipal Theater, Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro | Reproduction, 1909-07-14, From the collection of: Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro
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The crowd agglomerate at the main entrance on the night of the inauguration, impressed by the grandeur and opulence of Theatro

Opening program of the Municipal Theater (1909-07-14) by Theatro Municipal do Rio de JaneiroMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

The first program of the Municipal Theater presented important pieces of Brazilians composers: "Insônia", by Francisco Braga; "Noturn," from the opera "Condor" by Carlos Gomes; the play "Bonança" by Coelho Neto; and the opera "Moema", by Delgado de Carvalho.

Inauguration of the Rio de Janeiro Municipal Theater - 1909/07/14 (1909-07-14) by Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro | ReproductionMunicipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro

The next day the press recorded a memorable night for the city: "Night of opulent galas, said at blinding aspect of all those architectural beauties in focus, the flamboyance of those costly marbles (...); night of art by the music and by he Brazilian scene in which they were married, to celebrate the inauguration fausta, a language and warp light Bonança of Coelho Neto, and the ranges of our musicians in poems harmonies sensitizers."
(The Tribune, 15/07/1909)

Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro., From the collection of: Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro
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Soon after the national anthem, the poet Olavo Bilac in a heated speech, extolled the creation of the Municipal Theater:

"Lacked you this palace, beloved city! In your splendid revival you lacked this statement of your artistic genius! And I bless the benevolent lucky that I booked the good fortune to have been chosen to deliver to your enjoyment and your affection this House which is one of the most beautiful jewels in your crown of Queen! "

Credits: Story

Documentary Sources
Collection of the Documentation Center of Fundação Teatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro - CEDOC/FTMRJ

Curation and Text
Fátima Cristina Gonçalves

Photography
Jorge Campana
Júlia Rónai
Luiz Evandro Bertanha
Vânia Laranjeira

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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