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The grand Manaus Opera House, as it is also known, was built in the late 19th century in the middle of the jungle.
Rich rubber barons financed the project, partially because of an inferiority complex. They wanted to the world to see them as being cultured. Refined crystal chandeliers, top-grade marble, among other decorative items were imported at great expense from Europe.
The doors opened in 1896 and renowned musical artists from Europe and beyond were booked.
The Amazon rubber market collapsed in the early 20th century. Emerging competition in Southeast Asia and the discovery of artificial rubber were the culprits. The rubber barons either left or closed their wallets. Concerts and operas ceased for many generations - and the neglected exterior and interior of the building deteriorated.
The Teatro Amazonas was restored in the late 20th century. World-class orchestra, dance, and opera performances were resumed. And a springtime opera festival was added to the event schedule.
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