Seville, a city of opera
Would you like to explore the city of Seville in an original way and learn more about opera? Would you like to see the settings that inspired Verdi, Donizetti, Beethoven, Bizet and Mozart? Then take a look at these five options for sightseeing itineraries available in this city in Andalusia:
Seville, an opera setting
This route is divided into two itineraries around various places in Seville which feature in famous operas inspired by the city. The first covers a distance of 1.6 kilometres and takes two hours. On this route you'll discover emblematic sites such as the Old Tobacco Factory with its ancient gaol, Figaro's house, the La Caridad Hospital, the Real Maestranza bullring and Triana market.
The route is 2.2 kilometres long and takes about two and a half hours. You'll stroll through the historic centre and see monuments such as the Alcázar palace, the Jewish quarter, the Palace of Los Maraña… And in the Santa Cruz quarter you'll see the place that is traditionally held to be the site of Rosina's famous balcony in the opera 'The Barber of Seville'.
Route of the Legend of Carmen
This tour is dedicated to one of the most passionate characters in opera. Carmen was created by Mérimée and obtained lasting fame thanks to Bizet. Why not see how it feels to step into the shoes of this gypsy girl, the symbol of freedom, and relive her amorous encounters? Stroll along the alley known as the Callejón del Agua (where she used to dance), see Seville University (the location of the tobacco factory where Carmen worked) and the Real Maestranza bullring (where she met her death), and have your photo taken beside the statue of Carmen. The route is 3.8 kilometres long and lasts about three hours.
Route of the Legend of Don Juan
Is there anyone that doesn't know this universal character? There are over 50 operas based on this figure. The route that takes its inspiration from this symbol covers 3 kilometres and can be done in two and a half hours. You'll be able to visit what was once the house of Don Juan Tenorio, the home of Doña Ana de Pantoja (Don Juan's betrothed in the work of Zorrilla) and the tomb of the Tenorio family, located in what is today the archway of the City Hall.
Route of the Legend of Figaro
The author Beaumarchais created this character, who was then reincarnated in the operas of Rossini and Mozart, based on an idea by Cervantes. Among the thirty or so works in which he features, for this route we propose 'The Barber of Seville'. This itinerary will take you back in history to Seville at the time of the Enlightenment. You'll see Figaro's house, the magical setting of the Indias Archive and the cathedral, and you'll be able to envisage Rosina's balcony, where Figaro advises the young count of Almaviva to climb in search of his true love. It is 1.6 kilometres long and can be done in a little over an hour.
For more information about these routes, and on Seville's relationship with the world of opera, we recommend you go to the official website http://sevillaesopera.es/ (where you'll find maps of the routes, a street plan of Seville for tourists, and the programme of the Teatro de la Maestranza opera house). Experience opera as never before. Travel back in time. Let yourself be captivated by the charms of Seville.
Things to remember
These itineraries are not guided tours, but ideas for routes to do at your own pace. However, the associations of guides in Seville have information about the routes, and can be engaged to lead visits in a variety of languages.
An audioguide system is currently available, and the routes are specially marked with signs offering indications on the itineraries.
Sightseeing packages are available (for two, three and four nights) which include tickets to the legendary Teatro de la Maestranza opera house, one of these itineraries led by a professional guide, and a visit to a typical museum in Seville. They can be reserved online at the website http://sevillaesopera.es/