Colombian-born London Royal Ballet star Fernando Montaño will participate in the re-opening of Bogota’s historic theater, Teatro Colon, with a special performance for disadvantaged children in Colombia’s capital on July 24, according to the children’s foundation COTA (Children of the Andes).
Montaño, who grew up in a dangerous neighborhood in Colombia’s western coastal city of Buenaventura, has made sure that children from Bogota’s most troubled areas will be the first to witness the historic re-inauguration show of the 122 year-old Teatro Colon, the oldest standing opera house in South America, pre-dating the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by 16 years.
“The re-opening of the beautiful Teatro Colon is a very significant moment in the cultural life of Colombia, a moment which is for all Colombians. Thousands of children from difficult neighborhoods, such as the one I grew up in, never get the chance to go the theater, or see the ballet. But to experience the arts is a right and a necessity for all children. That’s why it’s important to me that the children that COTA (Children of the Andes) works with in Bogota should be the first to see our show,” said major London Royal Ballet star Fernando Montaño in a press release from COTA.
COTA (Children of the Andes), the largest Anglo-Colombian children’s foundation that began in 1991, focuses particularly on supporting vulnerable children in Colombia who are at risk from sexual violence, or recruitment into armed groups, according to COTA’s official website.
Montaño has been a patron of COTA since 2012.
The theater’s new season will open with three special performances by Montaño and nine Royal Ballet colleagues on July 25, 26, and 27.
However, Montaño has made a special invitation to hundreds of children from social projects that COTA supports to attend the full dress rehearsal on July 24.
The neoclassical style Teatro Colon, which seats 900 people, was built by Italian architect Pietro Cantini in 1885 and inaugurated on October 27, 1892 to mark the 4th centenary of Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas, according to the Ministry of Culture.