Music, Dances and a Parade Celebrate the Theater
By Jesús Aguado
Teatro Ángela Peralta is celebrating its 143rd anniversary with several free events and a parade reenacting the arrival of The Mexican Nightingale, Ángela Peralta.
Gustavo Vidargas, Director of Culture, told Atención that the celebration will start on Friday, May 20, with a parade leaving from Avenida Guadalupe, going through calle Canal, and continuing on Hernández Macías to the theater. The parade will feature live music, mojigangas (giant puppets), locos (crazies) and Antonia Guerrero reenacting Ángela Peralta. Guerrero expressed her feelings about this: “I am very excited and proud to represent the singer in this parade. It is an honor to me, and I will do it humbly and with a lot of love.”
At 7:30pm the same day, the photo exhibition “A través del Tiempo” will open in the theater. This day will close with the music of the Camerata de Solistas from the Universidad de Guanajuato at 8pm.
On Saturday, May 21, at 6:30pm, pianist Mauro Ledesma and opera singer Clara Dunham will perform in a concert with Mexican music. At 8pm, the play ¿Quién es el que anda allí? will take place in the Jardín Principal.
Did you know?
Until 1871 there was no proper space in San Miguel for holding quality events, and several residents worked to have a theater built. The initiative came from the administrador de rentas (administrator of the state offices in the city), Juan Mañón, who was supported by the local government and investors. In 1873 the construction of the new building was completed. Its walls were made of adobe and the ceiling was of tejamanil (wood), but the investors did not have a name for it.
Ángela Peralta, a Mexican soprano, gave several performances in Europe between 1862 and 1865 and later returned to Mexico. In April of 1873, when Peralta was performing in Guanajuato; she was invited to come to San Miguel, and she accepted. She arrived in the city at the end of April. It is said that the residents were so excited they untied the mules from the cart carrying the Mexican Nightingale and pulled it themselves. Peralta gave four concerts here after the opening of the theater.
According to the theater’s website, Peralta thanked those who welcomed her to the city and in a speech said, “I have organized a presentation the likes of which has not even been seen in the country’s capital.”
The theater was inaugurated on May 20, 1873. Bricklayer Don Antonio de la Serna constructed the current façade, decorated in classical style, in 1914.