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Miami Through its Spanish Performing Arts Spaces

Lillian Manzor, Author

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Dade County Auditorium


     Miami-Dade County Auditorium has been Greater Miami's premier performing arts center for grand opera, symphony, theater, concerts, ballets, lectures and other programs since it opened its doors in 1951. Built and designed with art deco inspiration at a cost of $1,000,000, it is one of the oldest auditoriums in Florida and one of the oldest spaces for performing arts in the city. Soon after its opening (March 1952), it started a series of free musical recitals sponsored by the Board of County Commissioners. The series, believed to be the first of its kind in Florida, wanted to create an audience of potential music lovers and to allow members of the community to visit the auditorium for the first time.FN Throughout the 50s and 60s, the Auditorium housed primarily musical events which included concerts of classical and contemporary music, musical theater from Broadway, and the productions of the Opera Guild of Greater Miami. 
     For Miami residents, it was also the place to gather for community events. As such, it also became the center of Hispanic cultural activity since it spoke Spanish for the first time in 1964 with the production of Añorada Cuba (follow this path for information on Añorada Cuba.) In 1969, the Auditorium housed the first production of a Spanish zarzuela in Miami. Since then and to this day, it has been the center for Spanish zarzuelas in the city. (Follow the zarzuela path.)
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