Angela Peralta Theater History
Mazatlan had other
theaters in the past, namely Teatro Alegria and
During those years, the
teatro El Recreo was in operation.
Watercolor of Teatro Alegria by William H. Meyers
Possibly the oldest
icon piece on the theatrical infrastructure in Sinaloa and maybe the whole
During August 1869,
Manuel Rubio , a local businessman,
proposed to the city
council the construction of a theater for the city.
The intention of
Rubio was to offer the mazatlecos a cultural space
that matched their recently acquired importance in politics and commerce.
the State’s capital and main economic center in western Mexico.
year, construction started under the direction of LibradoTapia,
the city’s engineer
theater was inaugurated on
February 15, 1874,
even though the ironwork at the balconies
inaugural play was
“La Campana de Almudaina”,
in three acts from Juan Palou y Colland
“La Casa de Campo”
comedy in one act by José Sánchez Albarral
by the Spanish Theater company of Mariano Luque
A Nightingale in Mazatlan
Angela Peralta and her Opera company arrived at Mazatlan on August 22,
1883. She was coming from Guaymas, Sonora and La Paz, Baja California, where she sang, in improvised theaters at internal patios, the Opera Maria di Rohan.
She was greeted at
the dock yard, next to the Customs House, where a band played our National Anthem. As she boarded a carriage, a group of excited fans removed the horses and
pulled it until they reached the Hotel Iturbide, followed by musicians and an
Once at the hotel, she came out to the balcony and greeted
the crowd outside of the building.
According to local oral tradition she
Paloma” a popular Cuban Song, composed by Iradier, the
favorite song of Empress Carlota.
Manuel Rubio was heading to San Francisco to purchase decoration for the theater,
his ship, El Continental, capsized on October
many passengers, including Mr. Rubio
could not see his work concluded, but his widow ,Doña Vicenta Unzueta,
continued its construction.
The Orfeon Angela Peralta Company:
local artists directed byFrancisco Martínez Cabrera and Adolfo Wilhelmy.
Back row, right to left, the first is Don
Ricardo Lorda Fernández de la Riva.
The third is Don
Ernesto Lorda Fernández de la Riva .
Francisco Martínez Cabrera, unmistakable , at
center of the first row.
Maria Teresa Montoya
on stage at the Teatro Rubio.
Public view at the Teatro Rubio during
the role of Maria Teresa Montoya benefit.
The Era of Splendor
ends with the frustrated presentation of Angela Peralta, who never performed
in Mazatlan. Perhaps, it is then
that the Teatro Rubio initiates
its long decline.
Until 1940, TeatroRubio was
a stage for all type of events: operas, zarzuelas, dramas, civic acts, circus
presentations, box and wrestling matches .
During this period
the theater is home to carnaval –carnival-events. In 1943 its name
changes from Teatro Rubio to
Cinema Angela Peralta, which functioned until 1964.
After that, the
building closed for a period of five years. Abandoned and in
decay it hosted a burlesque event during the 1969 Carnival
then, it remained practically abandoned
Architect Juan José León Loya,
a member of the Amigos Asociation,
was the specialist
who designed the project that would reconstruct the theater.
The reconstruction works started in 1987, and
concluded five years later.
For the quality of
its proposal and feasibility of the project (which ended crystallized in
Loya was awarded by the
Federation of Architects of Mexico
at the Second Biennial of Architecture.
reproduced according to the era and three quarters of the original parts were
1975, Hurricane “Olivia” reached Mazatlan
it caused a near total structural destruction, especially all wooden parts,
beams and columns
But this didn’t
happen thanks to a group of notable mazatlecos
who made their
mission the rescue of the theater.That is when the group
Amigos del TeatroAngela Peralta was
This group finally
brought the ruin into life by opening it to the public
and staging the first
cultural festival of Sinaloa.
first cultural festival that was verified in this theater happened with bare
sky under the big ficus tree. There was a rustic boarding built to accompany a
piano, a pianist and the soprano, Gilda Cruz Romo. As she sang her recital of
romantic Mexican songs, a full moon came out from behind the crumbled wall and
came rising like a silver dove along the branches of the big ficus, as the
recital finished, it reached the clear and starry sky filling with its
moonshine the last corner of the theater. That occasion Gilda sang well, the
moon overacted. Four more festivals were done under the open sky... Antonio Haas
So under construction, has now remained home to the last four festivals and most cultural events in the city. Mazatlecos thank the governor Lic. Francisco la Bastida Ochoa and Jose Angel
Pescador, then the city
As of this date, this
beautiful and historic building is the venue for numerous artistic and
cultural events, such as the Jose
Limon festival which takes place during April.
Another such events
are the Festival Sinaloa de las Artes and the Festival Cultural de Mazatlán, starting,
respectively, in October and mid-November.
Cultural events are
spread through the year.
as member of the Sociedad de Amigos del Teatro Ángela Peralta,
Antonio Haas Espinoza de los Monteros
became the most solid
member and enthusiastic promoter of the reconstruction
of this jewel of
Sinaloa Culture in Mazatlan.
The existence of this
theater, one of the most beautiful and authentic in
is linked to an obsession and perseverance of
this Mazatlan writer.
the restauration of the Teatro Ángela Peralta, which
remained a ruin for decades,
was promoted by the group Amigos del Teatro Ángela Peralta, A.C .
Together with local
Government, the Amigos del Teatro Angela Peralta and several State and federal
reconstruction was possible and is now the heart of Mazatlan’s
The external facade
has two stories, the lower part with a foyer sustained by columns.
The second level
shows an elegant ironwork and rectangular
windows decorated with vegetable relief
Upon entering , as is
typical of such 19th century Buildings, one arrives at an
open patio, adorned with rich neoclassical ornaments.
Its curved balconied
are a fantastic display of the ironwork
December 19, 1990
presidential decree, the Teatro Ángela Peralta was declared
was inaugurated by President Carlos
Salinas de Gortari on October 23, 1992
Thank you to
Manuel Gómez Rubio and my granddaughter Rosa Fernanda Gama Burgueño
that helped translate
Manuel Gomez Rubio
Gustavo Gama Olmos
Gustavo Gama Olmos
Doña Vicenta Unzueta de
Rubio, was forced, only
three years after the theater’s inauguration, to sell it.
The theater as well
as the Hotel Iturbide were acquired by Juan Bautista Hernández, a partner of
the Spanish firm Hernández Mendía y Asociados, which had significant investments in Mazatlan.
1879 and 1881
the theater underwent
important modifications that led to the elegant building that one appreciates
today. Local architect Santiago
Leon Astengo was
in charge of remodeling windows, doors and balconies, as well as other key
Juan Gomez, a
painter, was in charge of selecting the scenography as well as decorative details. At last, displaying the
latest advances of the era and 1366 seats, the theater was officially
inaugurated on February 6th, 1881. This was to be the second inauguration, but
now fully furnished. For this occasion the young women choir of Maestro
Manuel Cataño offered
a few years, the building turned into a ruin: it lost its roof and some walls
there was even a large “Ficus” tree that grew right on the stage.
Its aspect was shameful, an unpardonable
insult to a building that was once called the palace of the arts.
that reason, local government decides, in 1985, to destroy it.
María de los Angeles Manuela Tranquilina Cirila Efrena Peralta y Castera
Died on August 30
( you can see this image in Antonio Lopez
Saenz’s oil painting which hangs at Restaurant Pedro y Lola )
On the next day,
the opera company performed the opera “ IL Trovatore” by Giuseppe Verdi,
in which the tenor Fausto Belloti made his debut, in
front of an almost empty theater since there were rumors of the spreading of
the yellow fever
the rehearsal for the Opera Aida, with which she would debut given that both
directors, Ballot and Chavez Aparicio fell ill.The presentation should have been confirmed that same
night, but it was postponed as late in the day, the majority of the company
members had fallen sick.
At dawn, on the 25th
Bellotti, Aparicio, as well as other
artists died . The deadly disease killed
fifteen of the thirty eight company members and among the survivors were the
Soprano Zopilli, and the contrabass