This day, September 29, as an Opera, classical music and ballet and museum lover is very, very special for me, because on this day, September 29 but back in 1934, the Palace of Fine Arts (Bellas Artes) in Mexico City was inaugurated!
Bellas Artes is a place that will always have a special place in my heart and it is called by many as the “Cathedral of the Arts” in Mexico.
Bellas Artes is where I saw my first opera ever…. Verdi’s Rigoletto (with a young Ramon Vargas) and it changed my life forever!
Bellas Artes marked my child/teenage years…. in Bellas Artes is where I saw in many of my Birthdays Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” ballet, for many years before moving to Leon City, in Bellas Artes I also saw my second Opera, Bizet’s Carmen and also another of my favorite ballets “Don Quixote” by Ludwig Minkus. Many famous international Opera singers performed here, Maria Callas made her debut as Norma in Bellas Artes back in 1950.
Placido Domingo, Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Renee Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Javier Camarena, Rolando Villazon, Anna Netrebko, Francisco Araiza, Ramon Vargas, a young Ildar Abdrazakov, just to name a few, performed here. (Here in Bellas Artes, Placido Domingo performed “Samson and Delilah” and I remember that at the end of the performance, Placido came out from Bellas Artes to say hello to the public that were watching outside with giant screens in the square of Bellas Artes)
And I also remember Dmitri Hvorostovsky’s extraordinary and unforgettable concert, many Mexicans loved here and Dima’s presence in Bellas Artes will always be in our hearts.
(Unfortunately I was already here in Leon but I had the fortune to watch the concert, live on tv because it was a sensation!)
Here in Bellas Artes, they also perform the concerts of the National Symphony Orchestra (La Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional ).
The exterior of Bellas Artes is made of white Italian Carrara marble, with Art Nouveau and Neoclassical style outside and with Art Deco in the inside part.
There is also the famous and beautiful curtain that is in the Opera/theater and ballet stage.
Bellas Artes is not only an Opera Theater, it is also a museum, in the interior of the Palace, right in the interior hall, between the ground floor and the uppermost floor, you can watch and admire the many of the famous murals by Rufino Tamayo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera and Jose Clemento Orozco and I remember that when I was a child, I had the fortune to visit the special Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel exhibitions in Bellas Artes (and I remember the long, long lines to enter to the exhibitions! ) .
Also,here in Bellas Artes, was the place for the funerals of many important persons of the Mexican cultural life, writers Octavio Paz, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez and Ernesto de la Peña.
Feliz Aniversario, Happy Anniversary Palacio de Bellas Artes!