Matanzas’ Sauto Theater reopens to mark the city’s 326th anniversary

Matanzas, Cuba, Oct 11.- The reopening of the emblematic Sauto Theater on Saturday October 12, with a gala dedicated to the city of Matanzas, will feature as part of the celebrations to mark the 326th anniversary of the founding of the city known as the ‘Athens of Cuba.’


Ruben Dario Salazar, artistic director of the show, explained today at a press conference that the gala is divided into two main parts, the first of which consisting of the piece ‘Three works for Cecilia.’

‘It will be a tribute to Cecilia Sodis, who was director of the coliseum (theater) for 27 years, from 1989 until 2016, when she died,’ explained Salazar, director of Guiñol Nacional company and the local puppetry company, Teatro Las Estaciones.

The gala will feature the Matanzas Chamber Choir (OSM), conducted by Jose Antonio Mendez Valencia, with the work ‘Santa Cecilia,’ by Manuel Corona, and the Symphony Orchestra of Matanzas, under the baton of the young Cesar Eduardo Ramos.

The OSM will also perform ‘La Bella Cubana,’ a song by Matanzas local Jose White, and local lyrical soloists will also participate alongside soprano Lucelsy Fernandez. Both the orchestra and choir will perform ‘Romanza de Cecilia Valdes,’ a zarzuela by Gonzalo Roig.

The second part of the show, entitled, ‘A Theater for Matanzas,’ includes variations for piano on the romanza ‘Matanzas querida,’ from the zarzuela ‘La hija del sol,’ also by Roig, to be performed by pianist Hilda Elvira Santiago.

‘This essential composer from Matanzas is the author of the symphony orchestra suite ‘El alma de la ciudad,’ whose name extend to the whole show, where moments from the history of the Sauto are remembered and will be led by the OSM,’ Salazar explained.

He noted that the gala will include obligatory recognition of the people and entities involved in the restoration of the theater, who returned the historic building of 156 years dedicated to the arts to its former glory.

The Sauto was opened to the public in 1863 in an area close to the founding site of this city, known since the nineteenth century as the ‘Athens of Cuba’ for its broad and sustained cultural movement, and located 100 kilometers east of Havana.

Italian architect, engineer and painter Daniel Dall’agio designed the building, an example of the neoclassical style of the urban environment of Matanzas, capital of the province of the same name.

Throughout the years, the imposing central hall of the theater, similar to the Scala in Milan, has had a multipurpose function, and welcomed all the manifestations of the performing arts, including extraordinary performances.

Prominent figures such as Alicia Alonso, Frank Fernandez, Sara Bernhardt, Anna Pavlova and Andres Segovia, as well as important companies and groups from Cuba and abroad, have featured on its stage, with an audience capacity of over 700. (Prensa Latina)