Sauto of Matanzas, a theater with history
By Julia Muñoz
The Sauto de Matanzas Theater, a National Monument since October 10, 1978, is a paradigm of the great works of Cuban architecture. It is one of the most relevant theatrical coliseums in Cuba, recognized as a symbol of the city for its splendor and for being the venue of wide-ranging national and international festivals and events. Its history is closely linked to the economic development reached by the Athens of Cuba in the 19th century with the outbreak of a great sugar revolution. The accelerated economic progress brought with it a take-off in society and culture, at which time notable educational centers and important artistic and literary institutions were born and consolidated. Among these, the greatest pearl was constituted by a great theater, born with the name of Esteban and renamed years later as Sauto, a project by the Italian architect Daniel Dall'Aglio, inaugurated on April 6, 1863. The coliseum heads the trilogy of theatrical Cuban classics. The imposing building is a faithful example of the neoclassical style. It has four very well resolved and appreciated facades from any point you look at them. Once inside, the theater surprises with its functionality, the relationship established between the different spaces and the sober, yet detailed decoration. Due to its horseshoe shape, the room is included in the family of “Italian-like” theaters. With a capacity for 775 spectators, a shudder of pleasure is felt when listening to the bell that, more than a century ago from the so-called presidential box, announces the start of the show.