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   The Municipal Theatre, Ouro Preto
   Luso-Brazilian Style

   ( - 1770) Ouro Preto, MG

  

he Casa da Ópera de Vila Rica (Vila Rica Opera House), as it was once known, is thought to be the oldest theatre in South America; it was built by Colonel João de Souza Lisboa, following the luso-brazilian tradition. Its position, in the largo do Carmo, in no distinguishes it from the flanking buildings.
The simple façade recalls the austerity of civil architecture at the time. The pediment, vaguely neoclassical in inspiration, contrasts with the depressed arches, baroque in tradition, and certain "mediaeval" elements; there is a four-lobed bull´s eye demonstration of eclectic taste probably came about during the internal reconstruction of 1882.
The cramped interior used to be composed (according to the French traveller Saint-Hilaire) of four tiers of boxes, enclosed by wooden balustrades. The hall was originally lit by candles between the boxes.
Over the years there has been extensive rebuilding, most significantly in 1882, when the four-tier system of boxes was altered to a horseshoe shape with a sloping floor. These modifications were intended to satisfy 19th century demands for greater comfort.


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Theatres in the Historical Center of Rio