Teatro Circo Tamberlick

Only a part of the façade that used to hold the entrance doors still remains to this day as a reminder of this Teatro Circo.

Tamberlick and the Theater-circus
The Italian tenor premiered on October 11, 1882, a hundred and thirty years ago, the room that would soon be named after him

Javier Mosquera 11.10.2012 | 09:28
Imagen del Tamberlick, poco después de su inauguración. // FdV- Pacheco
Image of the Tamberlick, shortly after its inauguration. // FdV- Pacheco
Photos of the news
The FARO chronicle of October 12, 1882, indicated that the inauguration of the theater-circus and the debut of the opera company of the Italian tenor Enrico Tamberlick constituted a capital event of great importance for Vigo. And it ended with a long period without theatrical performances in the city for lack of space. Located on Calle del Circo, today Eduardo Iglesias, was a multipurpose room with capacity for eight hundred people. It hosted in April 1897 the first film screening in a room and in March 1930, the first sound film.
The inauguration of the theater-circus and the debut of the Italian opera company “constitute a capital event and of great importance for Vigo, in the present circumstances” said the FARO chronicle of October 12, 1882, 130 years ago.

Located on Calle del Circo, today Eduardo Iglesias, immediately became known as Tamberlick in tribute to the Italian tenor who, in front of his company, starred in the opening session.

So much importance was given to this new location that in FARO’s chronicle it was credited with immense gratitude and imperishable recognition “to Mr. Martínez Villoch, Bárcena and Pérez, for having equipped Vigo with the building that was inaugurated yesterday, without paying any attention to expenses. , without scarce resources or sacrifices of any kind, without omitting anything, absolutely nothing, of what is now used so that the embellishment and luxury were excessive in a coliseum like the one that occupies us “.

And it had been too long and painful abstinence, “that some believed there would be no end,” interrupted by the activity and the detachment of those worthy and appreciable neighbors, with an Italian opera company, led by the eminent tenor D. Enrique Tamberlick.

Most of the locations of the Theater-circus were populated “with the most chosen and the most select of the Vigo society”, presenting at first sight magnificent perspective and producing fantastic effect, as well as the high gallery that the main boxes. The shape of the building, as a whole, is good and satisfies all modern demands, in its class.

And although it was not the day to take care “of small defects of detail that the intelligent ones notice, and that perhaps they will be only and mainly due to the precipitation of the works and the material lack of time, so that everything bears the stamp of perfection” if the facade of the building was denounced, pointing out that “its appearance discourages and produces a dismal impression”. The worst were some uneven and lousy stairs that, with imminent risk and obvious exposure, lead to the entrance doors.

That is why the attention was drawn to this particular “to the owners of the Circus, dear friends of ours”. Some experts considered that by building a support wall to the street line and embankment, a spacious patio would be formed and one could enter the building through its five doors without climbing a single staircase. This, while providing comfort and no risk to the exit and entry, would serve as an ornament to the building, it could look a nice iron balcony with granite pedestals, holding statues or vases.

The different decorations, already placed on the stage, “denounce skillful brushes, and there is no doubt that, for now, there is no need to aspire to bigger things, everything pleases, and especially the curtain of mouth, which alone makes the reputation of the accredited painter, scenographer Mr. Muriel. “

The acoustic conditions of the building were unbeatable, “and although they are said to be daughters of chance, the truth is that they leave nothing to be desired.”

The same could not be said for the lighting: “Whether it is a defect in the gasometer or in the gas producing substances, the undeniable fact is that there is little light, and that its projection is scarce and uncertain, and we expect that the disease will be corrected” .

It was chosen for the first performance, the opera in three acts entitled “Poliuto” or “The Martyrs” magna and immortal creation of the great teacher Donizetti and one of the favorites of Tamberlick, which received nourished and prolonged applause.

The choirs well, always singing with tuning and admirable orchestra. “We believe that you can not ask for or want more in a Provincial Theater.” As far as Vigo is concerned, it is likely that no other orchestra so complete, so well-tuned and with such good organization had been heard.


A multipurpose venue that, in 1897, hosted the first film screening in a Vitoria theater

The Tamberlick, designed by the architect Domingo Rodríguez Sesmero, had thirty meters of main façade and 45 of depth, with stage and a central patio of thirteen meters in diameter, around which five rows of concentric banks were distributed. It was a multipurpose venue, suitable for theater and circus sessions, since it had stables and its initial capacity was eight hundred spectators, which would increase after some reforms. 
The success of the first functions of the Italian company and especially its director, much appreciated by the Vigo public, led to the name change of the room. Only four days after the inaugural session, the decision of the Teatro-circus company to give it the name Tamberlick was made public, “believing in this way to be interpreters of the feelings of the people who today have the fortune to applaud him”. 
The architect Martín Curty points out in his book “Cines de Vigo” that the Tamberlick was the room that hosted the first film screening in Vigo, on April 29, 1897, “with a large audience that filled the capacity of the room. 
Three tapes were exhibited: A duel by gun and then Arrival of a train and Charge of cavalry. The public demanded repetition. 
Between picture and picture projected on the screen, the waiting Miss Zaida played the bandurria, accompanied by Mr. Asensio on guitar. It was also where the first sound film was shown in March 1930.
In 1965 it was the object of a reform to accommodate, with independent access, the new Odeón cinema, after the disappearance of Urzáiz Street. 
The space was demolished in 1991.


Rúa de Eduardo Iglesias 8
36202 Vigo, Pontevedra

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