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Musicians and dancers, about to be electrocuted in the National Theater of Havana due to leaks

Musicians and dancers, about to be electrocuted in the National Theater of Havana due to leaks

The leaks that flooded the stage of the Avellaneda Hall of the National Theater, in Havana, where the Cuban National Ballet performed last Sunday, were more than an “uncomfortable moment”, as the musician expressed on networks this Tuesday. osmany hernandez.

The images accompanying his Facebook post show the scale of the disaster. More than drops, a thread of water, soaking a lectern and its lamp, while the Symphony Orchestra of the Gran Teatro de La Habana plays, which accompanies the ballet, as well as the water filtering through the ceiling, between the spotlights.

“A piano, string instruments, director, musicians and wet electrical installations,” listed Hernández, who mentioned that what happened is “the usual leak that occurs when it rains.”

Witnesses of the function confirmed to 14ymedio to what extent the artists were in danger, with the dancers dancing in the wet and “the high voltage that exists on a stage”. The leaks were, they detail, everywhere: “On the tables, on top of the musicians, in the basement, in the windows.” So much so that “even the musicians and the instruments got wet”. Despite the conditions, the performance did not stop at any time.

The leaks were, they detail, everywhere: “On the tables, on top of the musicians, in the basement, in the windows.” So much so that “even the musicians and the instruments got wet”

In his text on networks, Osmany Hernández, who plays the bassoon and is a teacher at the Guillermo Tomás Conservatory in the Cuban capital, asks that the authorities “take action on the matter to safeguard one of the few theaters that we have left.”

He also takes the opportunity to recall that the Karl Marx Theater and the Gran Teatro de La Habana are “closed due to termites” and that the Amadeo Roldán has also been closed “for years due to construction problems after a terrible repair)”.

“Our National Theater already has termites everywhere and a growing deterioration of the facilities and musical instruments that are kept there, such as harps,” he continues, something that is corroborated in the comments by other colleagues.

For example, that of Igor Ernesto Corcuera Cáceres, director of the National Concert Band and professor at the Higher Institute of Art in Havana: “And that is Avellaneda, which is the one with the best conditions… What to leave for Cinderella Covarrubias room, infested with bats and termites. The ONLY harp that remains to the National Symphony Orchestra is in serious danger of disappearing, not to mention double basses and other instruments”.

“Inconceivable indolence and deterioration,” says René Gacives. “Add to it the Sala Dolores de Santiago, already closed in danger of collapse, and the center of the International Choir Festival of Santiago de Cuba.” To this Hernández replies: “And nothing happens.

The culture budget is cut. The evaluations of our soloists, concertmasters and alternating soloists are not leveled in the new model, which discourages those of us who stay here. And on top of that we can’t say anything.”

On this, the bassoonist mentions in another response that he was ordered “not to expose anything on social networks with the evaluations. And at what moment will some of our urgent problems be taken into account? Is it better to remain silent than to show problems that threaten against the existence of our work? I don’t think all the people who can solve this are aware. I know that those who are truly interested in culture sweat their backs to solve this.”

“I know that the personnel of the National Theater of Cuba are dedicated and go out of their way to serve you,” Corcuera Cáceres concedes. “But these things are already beyond them. They don’t have the budgets or resources to solve this. It takes investment at a higher level (so to speak).”

“These things are already beyond them. They have no budgets or resources to solve this. Investment is needed at a higher level”

The flutist Alberto Rosas is harsher in his comment: “This is the result of the inability, fraud, ineptitude, inefficiency and corruption of a failed system that plagues the Cuban people. And this type of thing has always been claimed and denounced by conscientious citizens. I am fully aware of that. But since the theater does not have an owner, no one is hurt. The leaders wash their hands of it, to safeguard the paltry advantages compared to ordinary people, which they obtain for their poor performance. Cuba is falling apart. In what they have turned what was called the Pearl of the Caribbean”.

The National Theater of Cuba was inaugurated in 1979, on the occasion of the Sixth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, but the authorization for its construction dates from 1951, before the Revolution. The original plan was inspired by the Radio City Music Hall in New York, something that only remained a project.

The musician who published the post The original settled the discussion by assuring that “today they began to repair the roof. I hope it turns out well, many of us who work there really need it.” This Wednesday, 14ymedio found that some kind of repair is being carried out. At least there was a worker on the roof.

The complaint of these musicians coincides with the publication in the official press of report that recognizes all the problems caused by state-owned culture companies, including inefficiency and corruption, and that artists consulted by 14ymedio interpret as an attempt to remove them and authorize, instead, MSMEs take care of these tasks.


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