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The Gran Teatro de La Habana[1] is the former Centro Gallego. Designed by the Belgian architect Paul Belau and the U.S. firm of Purdy and Henderson, Engineers, was paid for by the Galician immigrants of Havana to serve as a their community- social center. Located in the Paseo del Prado, the theatre has been home to the Cuban National Ballet and to the International Ballet Festival of Havana. Its facilities include theatres, a concert hall, conference rooms, a video screening room, as well as an art gallery, a choral center, with several rehearsal halls for dance companies.

Gran Teatro de La Havana
Great Theatre of Havana
Gran Teatro de La Habana front.jpg
Front and side facades, Paseo del Prado
Former names
Location458 Paseo del Prado 10600 Havana, Cuba
OwnerNational Government
TypeOpera house, Performing arts center
Genre(s)Ballet, Opera, Flamenco, other
Capacity1,500- The Garcia Lorca Auditorium
Renovated1914, 2004
ArchitectPaul Belau
National Ballet of Cuba (1950-present)
International Ballet Festival of Havana (1960-present)



Gran Teatro de la Habana_Centro gallego. Havana, Cuba.

Since its inception in 1838, Teatro Tacón had occupied the north-western part of the site bounded by Paseo del Prado and Calle Consulaso and Calles San Rafael and San Jose,Its auditorium hosted such European artists as Enrico Caruso and Sarah Bernhardt. During the first years of Cuban independence when thousands of immigrants arrived in Cuba from Spain, a new building addition was constructed around the concert hall of Teatro Tacón.[2] Originally known as the Centro Gallego de La Habana, the building is decorated with sculptures by Giuseppe Moretti, representing benevolence, education, music and theatre.


Detail showing the architectural connection of the Centro Gallego to the new stone facing of 1838 Teatro Tacon on Calle San Rafael.

The Centro Gallego was built in an exuberant Neo-Baroque style around the old concert hall of the Teatro Tacón located at the corner of Calles of San Rafael and Consulado.[3] Architect Paul Belau, architect of the Presidential Palace, and the U.S. firm Purdy and Henderson, Engineers, kept the original 1838 theatre and built meeting rooms and ballrooms for the Centro Gallego, as well as additions that enlarged the support functions of the concert hall and introduced an elaborate system of circulation. The exterior of the original Teatro Tacón received a stone facing to harmonize with the new exterior of the Centro Gallego.[4]

The theatre todayEdit

Allegory of Music.

The principal venue is the García Lorca Auditorium, with seats for 1,500 persons, it provides a home for the Cuban National Ballet Company, and for other dance companies and musical performances. During the 19th and 20th century, performances that took place on its stage include: Ole Bull, Enrico Caruso, Fanny Elssler, Jenny Lind, Anna Pavlova, Antonia Mercé, Ruth Saint Denis, Ted Shawn, Teresa Carreño, Vicente Escudero, Maya Plisetskaya, Clorinda Corradi, Sarah Bernhardt, Carla Fracci and Alicia Alonso, as well as companies such as the American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Antonio Gades ballet, the Ballet of the Colón Theatre of Buenos Aires, the Ballet Folclórico of Mexico, plus other ballet companies.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Estrada, Alfredo José (2007). Havana: An Autobiography. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 100–1.
  3. ^ File:Back of original Tacón Theatre. San Rafael and Consulado. Havana, Cuba.jpg
  4. ^ File:Gran Teatro de la Habana Alicia Alonso. Centro Habana, La Habana, Cuba. Agosto de 2016 01.jpg

External linksEdit