The heart of the city beat again. Sauto is like the heart of my island, this small piece of land surrounded by water where I was born, grew up and still pursue dreams. Cradle of romantics, bards and bohemians, transhumant drinkers of Pon Pon. Matanzas is my island and Sauto his heart.
It is bathed by the nearby waters of Oshún and Yemayá: river and sea in eternal communion, it beats again in the middle of the Plaza de la Vigía. One permeates the intensity of her feelings and spirituality, delicacy, finesse, love … The other offers all the riches, of which she is a guardian, incites him to the sea, to the crests of the waves…
Last night, the main doors of the theater opened again; again, lunettes, boxes, social gatherings and paradise were filled. Sauto returns to the Matanzas artistic life. Matanzas was nothing without his theater. There is no Matanzas without Sauto, nor Sauto without Matanzas! (*)
When bells rang and the lights dimmed briefly, the first person who came to my mind was my mother, because thanks to her I love this imposing wooden architecture so much that it honors us with the name of Sauto.
“The night when the Sauto Theater opens its main gate and the lights on the stage come on, it can happen, if we sharpen our ears, noises are heard under the city, ghost songs, whispers of poets, violins tuning the strings, like the creaking of old machinery that has been detained for a long time and starts to walk.”(**)
And so it was, in the middle of the show I thought I saw Anna Pavlova dancing again on stage and Snowball playing the grand piano. Startled still by the loss of his barret, the Chinese Justo Wong was in the luneary and from the central box Ambrosio the bell rang calling for sanity.
Sauto has returned to what he always was: the old guardian of the city, an indisputable icon of killing. Everything is again as before.Considered the best among the nine most important theaters in the country (***), the Italian Dall´Aglio raised it with a benevolent sense of space. Impress the dozens of doors, mezzanines, stairs and corridors that make the wonder of this period architecture: a horseshoe-shaped theater with perfect bilateral symmetry.
Without a doubt, there is the most emblematic and preserved of the Cuban theaters of the 19th century.
It still seems like a lie to cross the sides of the stage until you reach the main hall in search of your box, the same one that has occupied year after year to enjoy working. And when the curtain rises and drapes are uncovered, then the breathing is broken and the memories are rampant. Sauto, in my solitude you were also!
The fact is that we had theater again. They return the nights of splendor to the beautiful Yucayo. The arts will reign in the old framework of 156 years, the woods of the stage will again creak in jubilation and the city dusters will dust off their best clothes to attend the temple. It is not easy to believe it, but it is true: Sauto opens doors in honor of the city and its children, the architects of the miracle, those who are and those who once left dreams and strength to save it from oblivion.
Protective spirits guard it. In the end, when everything was silent, as in a vacuum, two girls who ran around laughingly in the theater halls caught my attention. In one I thought I saw my mother’s beloved face.
• Photos by Ramón Pacheco, Sergio Martínez, Ernesto Cruz and Facebook.(*) Calec Acosta, phrase in the opening remarks.
(**) Sauto Theater: and this time for when ?, by Dunielys Díaz, Radio 26 website, October 21, 2016.
(***) Where is Polimnia ?, by Maritza Tejera, Radio 26 website, April 6, 2018.
.Audio on line.