In 1887, a Bogota comedian named José Domingo Torres, combined his two passions of theatrical music and his love for his country to push for the creation of a national anthem for Colombia. He decided to use as the lyrics of the anthem an inspiration poem written by then President Rafael Núñez commemorating the city of Cartagena, and asked his friend Oreste Sindici, an Italian opera teacher, to compose the music. (One common characteristic of Latin American epic anthems such as Colombia’s is that the music often resembles Italian operas.) The anthem was first performed in November of that year in a music hall in the public school where Sindici taught. The anthem was officially adopted by Congress in 1920, and an official transcription was made in 1946. The anthem is always performed starting with the chorus, then a verse, then the chorus, any one of the eleven verses can be used.