Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica

Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica

Infobox building|right
building_name = Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica

|thumb|300px|Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica
building_type = Arts complex
architectural_style = Neo-classical
location=San José, Costa Rica

completion_date = 1897
opened = 1897

structural_engineer = Ruy Cristóforo Molinari
awards = Institución Benemérita de las Artes Patrias (Costa Rica, 1999); National Monument (Costa Rica, 1965)
The "Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica" (National Theater of Costa Rica) is located in the central section of San José. Construction began on the theatre in 1891, and it opened to the public on October 21, 1897 with a performance of "Faust".

The "Teatro Nacional" is the maximum representation of economical stability of the nation, in a period of time when coffee exports were a round success. The use of this theatre is limited to high quality performances, undergoing a very selective process prior to admission for performing.


The construction of the national theatre was given at the end of the 19th century. A lot of private theatres were given, but they come and go without any real structure. The only real theatre was the "Mora" Theatre ("Teatro Mora", also called Municipal Theatre, or "Teatro Municipal"), that fulfils the necessity of a theatre for many years until it was abandoned and destroyed by an earthquake.

The President of Costa Rica at the time, José Joaquín Rodríguez, to provide the nation with a theatre fit of that name, decided to put a tax to the coffee, the principal export product, to finance the project.

The construction started with a lot of problems because there were little people back then that could understand the squematics of the construction; therefore, a lot of mistakes were made. Later one the coffee planters begged the government to remove the exportation tax on their product and to put it to rice and beans (one of the principals alimentary products back then) .

The construction errors were fixed, thanks to the fact that an Italian engineer came to take over the leading of the construction. It took seven years to finish the theatre.

The inauguration was on October 21, 1897, with the performance of "Faust"


The theatre is a tourist attraction as well as having performances several times a week.

The front of the theatre features statues of Calderón de la Barca and Ludwig van Beethoven. The inside of the theatre features the ceiling mural "Allegory of Coffee and Bananas" by Aleardo Villa, which is also featured on the five colón bill.

Performances by the National Symphonic Orchestra (NSO) take place at the theatre during NSO's Regular Season, and include both Costa Rican and foreign composers. This is probably the one sort of performance that attracts the most public to the theatre, for its great quality and affordable prices.

External links

* [http://www.teatronacional.go.cr/ Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica] (Official Site, includes a virtual tour, Spanish)

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