您现在的位置: FOLXTEN|湘大外院英语学习网 >> 资源中心 >> 文学艺术 >> 文学 >> 正文
The Beautiful Theatre in The Heart of The Amazon Rainforest
作者:佚名    内容来源:本站原创    点击数:    更新时间:2017/3/23

The Beautiful Theatre in The Heart of The Amazon Rainforest

The city of Manaus is home to a remarkable cultural monument: a majestic 19th Century opera house that brought the grandeur of Europe to Brazil. Benjamin Ramm steps inside.

The tributaries of the Rio Negro are teeming with music. On the outskirts of Manaus, capital of the Amazonas province, there is a symphony of unparalleled variety – the call of the yellow-rumped cacique bird, the cadences of cicadas, the cacophony of capuchin monkeys. When the water is calm, you can hear the clicking of pink dolphins that glide in the black silted stream.

The music of Manaus is not restricted to its wildlife. The ‘Paris of the Tropics’, as it became known in the late 19th Century, is home to a remarkable cultural monument: the Teatro Amazonas (Amazon Theatre), a majestic opera house that dominates the city’s main square. Testament to the wealth of Manaus at the height of its rubber boom, the theatre is a curious attempt to replicate European cultural taste in the heart of the tropical rainforest.

View image of (Credit: Alamy)

The opera house was inaugurated on 31 December, 1896, after 15 years of painstaking construction and negotiation. With the exception of locally-sourced wood, all the materials were imported from Europe, and no expense was spared. One hundred and ninety-eight crystal chandeliers came from Italy, including 32 made from Venetian Murano glass, while Scottish cast iron holds up the 22 vibrating hollow columns that contribute to the excellent acoustics.

The most elegant feature of the 700-seat theatre is the curvature of the auditorium, arrayed in the shape of a lyre. The Italian architect, Celestial Sacardim, modeled the interior on the Palais Garnier in Paris, and the ceiling, painted by a fellow Italian, offers the impression of looking up reverentially at the Eiffel Tower.

The theatre’s iconic dome is both innovative and controversial – even to this day

Not all of the artistry is European. The 75-metre-high stage is adorned with a curtain illustrated by Brazilian painter Crispim do Amaral, which depicts the local water goddess Iara amid the nearby ‘meeting of the waters’, between the black Rio Negro and the milky Rio Solimões.
The most imaginative innovation is the iconic dome, created from 36,000 tiles imported from Alsace, upon which a Brazilian flag is emblazoned. It was during the construction of the theatre, in 1889, that Brazil became a republic, ending the imperial rule of Dom Pedro II. The new republican spirit, a century after France’s own revolution, is evident in the motto at the centre of the flag, Order and Progress, which derives from the positivist philosophy of a Parisian, Auguste Comte.

View image of (Credit: Alamy)

The dome was a controversial construction, and it continues to divide critics, according to tour guide, Samir Torres. Traditionalists deemed it a bizarre addition – neither formal nor symmetrical, nor of utility (it does not form part of the interior, and the roof had to be reinforced to support its weight). While some deride the dome as a ‘big colorful hat’, I think it makes a fitting crown for a building that fuses architectural styles (Renaissance, Baroque, neo-classical).

Teeming: adj. 丰富的

Symphony: n. 交响乐

Cacique: n. 酋长

Cicada: n.

Cadence: n. 节奏

Cacophony: n. 刺耳的声音

Capuchin monkeys: n. 卷尾猴

 

Edited by Bowman(刁天意)2015 Translation & Interpretation

 
Copyright © 2008-2009  School of Foreign Languages, Xiangtan University All Rights Reserved
湘潭大学外国语学院 版权所有
E-mail:folxten@163.com
湘ICP备09021724号  

管理登录