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The ‘Eddy Suñol’ theatre at 80 years old

The curtains of this theatre recall the days when it became Cuba’s principal cultural stage for the first time eight decades ago.


María de Lourdes Legrá Pichs


On the 2 of June of 1939, the ‘Suñol’ theatre, whose original name was Wenceslao Infante Theatre, burst onto the artistic scene of Holguín to become the most important cultural institution in the region, which was considered one of the main art hubs in Cuba.

The prominent construction built in art deco style is located right in the historic centre of the provincial capital, in front of the main park Mayor General Calixto García.

The design features geometric motifs such as rhombuses, rings and vertical lines, which decorate the exterior and interior of the theatre.

These elements were restored and respected during the capital repairs that were carried out at the ‘Eddy Suñol’ over the course of four years, which served to provide greater comfort and a modern system for lights, sound, scenery and air conditioning.

Its consolidation as the main performing arts space in Holguin was conceived by maestro Raúl Camayd, who conceived it as the headquarters of the Rodrigo Prats Lyric Theatre of Holguín.

Such is the hallmark left by the baritone in the history of this theatre that the names of its three halls are associated with him and the Lyric.

Namely, the main hall bears the musician’s name, who was also the creator of the teaching unit of the Higher Institute of Art, which has a capacity of 500 places in the first tier and 330 in the second tier.

The hall is dedicated to small-scale performances and honours the zarzuela “Los Gavilanes”, which became the lyric company’s premiere performance in 1962.

In turn, the Alberto Dávalos hall pays homage to the tenor and founder of the Lyric Theatre in Matanzas and Holguín.

To celebrate these eight decades of service to art and culture in eastern Cuba, its director, Róger Rodríguez, declared that the celebratory events will continue until the month of December.

“In June, the National Ballet of Cuba and Contemporary Dance of Cuba will once more take the stage of the ‘Suñol’ in one of the most awaited performances among the residents of Holguin,” Rodríguez announced.

In addition, the events planned for the 80th anniversary in July include performances by the Spanish Ballet of Cuba, Teatro de la Luna, the comedy group Etcetera and the Lyric Theatre of Holguín, with the premiere of the operetta “The Cheerful Widow”.

On the other hand, the president of the Provincial Council of Performing Arts, Yanet Pérez, also highlighted the first presentation of the ‘Eddy Suñol’ Theatre Distinction.

The ‘Eddy Suñol’ theatre proudly preserves the history of notable figures in Cuban and international art, including singers such as Libertad Lamarque, Jorge Negrete, Joan Manuel Serrat, Rosita Fornés, Elena Burke, Esther Borjas, Omara Portuondo, among others.

At present, the theatre hosts the North Atlantic Dance Competition and Vladimir Malakhov Grand Prix, which promotes young dancers around the world. (PL)

(Translated by Lucy Daghorn)

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