Can the symphony return to the Peón Contreras “before spring”?

Rubble and fires damage Mérida’s magnificent Teatro Peón Contreras. Photo: courtesy

Mérida Mayor Renán Barrera Concha said authorities were aiming for the Teatro José Peon Contreras to reopen “before spring”.

The famous opera house – the most important performance space in Yucatán – was badly damaged in a fire last week.

In a radio interview, the mayor shared more details about the cause of the fire. The fire started when an audio console on the top floor was shorted out, he said.

He said a surveillance drone with night vision and heat sensors helped areas identify the specific point from where the incident occurred.

The fire destroyed large parts of the 114-year-old building, including its fresco painted inside the dome above the auditorium. The dressing rooms on the third level were also destroyed, as were the light fixtures in the lobby.

After the fire, the Peón Contreras chandelier remained intact. Photo: merida.gob

Its magnificent luster was saved by a mechanical system that allowed workers to quickly lower it out of harm’s way, he said.

The Yucatán Symphony Orchestra has suspended ticket sales but there are still five performances left for its current season.

Renán Barrera said Governor Mauricio Vila Dosal has expressed interest in reopening the venue as soon as possible, so he hopes the Yucatán Symphony Orchestra will be able to perform on its stage again “before spring 2023”.

The symphony orchestra did not reveal if the fall 2022 season will be suspended or if it will announce another venue.

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