Opera has been performed in Spain since the 17th century, and although historically there has always been a stronger tradition of theatre, opera has also put down roots. Here, the two disciplines joined forces to create zarzuela, a distinctively Spanish art form that has filled marvellous theatres well worth a visit.
Teatro de la Maestranza, Seville
More than 150 operas have been inspired by Seville, but there was no opera house in the city until 1991. This was when the Maestranza Theatre opened, with a dome that soars to almost 50 metres in height, and a seating capacity of 1,800. On this stage you’ll enjoy a variety of high-quality shows, thanks to the venue’s acoustics. An incredible experience.
Halfway up the Ramblas, the Liceu opened its doors in 1847, and is the city’s oldest active theatre, one of the symbols of Barcelona, and a great place to enjoy an opera. It has the honour of being home to the first symphony orchestra in Spain, founded 170 years ago, which has been led by some of the world’s best conductors.
With 65,000 square metres of floor area and a seating capacity of 1,746, the Teatro Real is the country’s key opera house and one of the premium cultural spaces in Spain. A place where you can enjoy works from the great classics to the avant-garde, it was opened in 1850 and faces the Royal Palace.
In Spain you can see a great many operas and zarzuelas in auditoriums with hundreds of years of history behind them.