When many people think of Spain, the music that comes to mind is often flamenco. But Spain is also a great place to take in an opera or some classical music. The performances are spectacular, and the theaters and concert halls provide a setting to match. All of Spain’s major cities offer unique venues, but here are some of our favorites.
The Teatro Real in Madrid is a worldwide reference for the quality of its performances, and is one of Europe’s top opera houses thanks to its beauty and unrivalled acoustics. With seating for over 1700 people, the Teatro Real is often filled to capacity. During the interval, make sure your group takes some time to take in the details of the venue, like the huge central chandelier. They can also head up to the Café de Palacio on the sixth floor to view 18th century paintings on loan from the Reina Sofía Museum, and get a stunning view of La Almudena Cathedral and the Royal Palace.
Barcelona’s Gran Teatro del Liceu was inaugurated in 1908, earning since then true international prestige. Designed by renowned Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, this theater is an excellent example of Catalan Modernism, and the interior is decorated with intricate ceramic mosaics and polychrome glass with floral motifs. Remarkably, the theater manages to maintain traditional in perfect harmony with its modern style. Even the stage curtain is exceptional – it is the work of famous Catalan designer Antonio Miró.
One of Spain’s most recent great additions to the world of opera and classical music, Valencia’s Palau de la Música auditorium was inaugurated in 1987. Located next to the Turia Gardens, this building was designed by Ricardo Bofill. Its main visual theme is transparency, as embodied by the huge glass dome that forms the entrance. In Valencia, you can also discover the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia Theatre. Set at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, within the renowned Arts and Sciences Centre, this is a bizarre and beautiful complex designed by architect Santiago Calatrava. Thanks to its exceptional acoustics, it is considered one of Europe’s best auditoriums.
© Palau de les Arts
Located near to the Guggenheim Bilbao, the Euskalduna Jauregia Conference and Music Centre was inspired by a ship run aground in the Nervión River. It represents the last vessel built at the old Euskalduna shipyard. The opera hall was inaugurated in 1999, and is the work of Federico Soriano and Dolores Palacio. The Euskalduna is considered to be among the most important contemporary works by Spanish architects and has become emblematic of modern Bilbao. It has Spain’s largest and Europe’s second-largest stage, which it uses for concerts and ballet as well as opera. Be sure to take your group up to the fourth-floor terrace for stunning views of Plaza del Palacio and the Maritime Museum.
More than 100 operas are set in the city of Seville, by the world’s most famous composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Bizet. These include Carmen, The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro. But Seville is also a great place to see some of these operas, and many others. The city’s leading venue, the Teatro Maestranza, is considered to be one of the best avant-garde theatres in Spain. Inaugurated by H.M. Queen Sofia of Spain in 1991, the theater hosts everything from operas to classical music concerts and recitals, including flamenco, ballet and zarzuela. Along with the main hall, the building also has experimental theater halls and art exhibition rooms.
Opera on your tour
Visiting the grand opera halls of Spain can be a highlight of your group’s tour in Spain – they will never forget the beauty and elegance of these buildings or of the performances held within them. Get in touch with us today to find the show and venue that are right for you!