The International Habaneras and Polyphony Contest of Torrevieja, began on August 7, 1955 as the National Habaneras Contest. That first edition was celebrated in the Vista Alegre Promenade, resulting in a true success that has lasted over time to the present, incorporating edition after edition novelties that have been shaping the Contest today.
At that time, with the desire to boost the cultural activity of the Torrevejense summer, thanks to the work of the Official Party Commission of that time under the City of Torrevieja, they begin to develop the tought of Juan Aparicio, that summer in the city. Knowing the enormous roots of habanera in our city, he launched the magnificent idea of creating a contest that brought together soloists, small ensembles and large choirs, around the genre of habanera.
In this case, that first edition of 1955 was convened in different modalities such as soloists, small ensembles and choral masses, being the winner of the first prize the Murcian Orfeón “Fernández Caballero”, directed by Manuel Massotti Littel. The first stage, located on the Vista Alegre promenade in an acoustic shell created for the moment. Today on that place, the monument to the Coralist, in homage to all Torrevieja coralists who give their best for habanera in the choirs of the city, and to all the coralists who have passed through history Contest.
Since then, the Contest has only grown in all aspects. Although at first the participating choirs and soloists were from the provinces of Alicante, Valencia and Murcia, little by little they will come from all over the State. In 1963, the polyphony modality was also added, to grant greater variety to the contest, thus defining the two modalities in which the Contest, Havana and polyphony are divided.
In 1974, there was the transfer of the Contest to the historic site of the «Eras de la Sal», the place that once stored the salt of the Salinas from Torrevieja, to be transferred on ships arriving from around the world. In the tornavoz expressly built for the celebration of this Contest, characterized by its excellent acoustics, by the sea, on summer nights, this event has found its natural habitat.
Since 1989, with the creation of the Municipal Board of Habaneras de Torrevieja, the Contest acquires international status, going from that moment choirs from the five continents to compete for the precious awards that are awarded every year and becoming an international reference of choral singing every month of July.
Among the numerous awards and distinctions obtained, the declaration as International Tourist Interest by the Ministry of Tourism and Commerce of the Government of Spain since 1994, as well as the High Distinction to Cultural Merit granted by the Generalitat Valenciana.