Everything about Opera in Barcelona

The opera is a theatrical music genre that is usually accompanied by stage action, or at least that is how it has been designated since its creation in the 16th century. In the opera, the drama is exploited with music and singing, focusing not so much on the plot or the action but on the reaction of the characters, which they express themselves through their spectacular voices. There are countries that are great exponents of the genre, such as Italy, Germany, France and Spain.

In Spain, the opera took longer to develop than in other European countries. Here there was a great spoken theater tradition and it was widely considered that incorporating music and singing would not improve the final product. However, great writers set out to compose serious theme operas that did not reach out to the public, until the launch of another type of opera: Opera buffa (comic opera). This kind of fun opera with lighter themes is what would lead to the creation of the Spanish opera genre: La Zarzuela.

Today there are still many theaters where you can see the opera or get to know the Spanish Zarzuela in Spain. In the Catalan capital there are two of the most important in the country, where you can have an incredible experience and move in time enjoying fascinating pieces of national and international opera.

Popular Opera Venues in Barcelona

El Palau de la Música Catalana

Where is it? C/Palau de la Música, 4-6, 08003 Barcelona

El Palau de la Música Catalana is the headquarters of the “Orfeó Català”, a musical institution of bourgeois origin, founded in 1891 by Barcelona patrons and other music lovers. The building, located in the Sant Pere, Santa Caterina and La Ribera neighborhood, was designed by the Catalan architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner and keeps the Catalan characteristic architectonic style, known as Catalan modernism. It is one of the must-sees in Barcelona for its impressive façade and sumptuous interiors. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.

Inside of El Palau de la Música Catalana we find the Sala Lluís Millet, the concert hall, the Petit Palau de Óscar Tusquets or the Library. The interiors are decorated with ceramic mosaics, a Catalan modernism technique while the windows are made of polychrome glass. The nature and the floral theme prevail in its coatings, another of the classic themes of this architectural style that we find throughout the city. In the different rooms we find glass lamps decorated with colorful mosaics, feminine busts, peacock figures and all kinds of sumptuous details. It is considered one the Catalan modernism greatest exponents because it combines all the different applied arts: sculpture, mosaic, stained glass and wrought iron.

El Palau has been the scene of the best operas and concerts that have traveled to the city of Barcelona and is an essential part of its cultural and artistic life. In EL Palau de la Música Catalana they also offer activities for children such as concerts. A special program for children was created with the goal of offering a shared musical experience for families, parents and children, as well as opening the world of classical music to the little ones.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you visit El Palau de la Música Catalana:

    The guided tour is from 10.00 to 15.30 from Monday to Sunday.

    Free children up to 10 years old.

    The guided tour is the only way to get to know the famous flowers columns balcony.

    The guided tour is conducted in Spanish, English, French, Italian and Catalan.

    The admission price for adults is € 18 and € 11 for reduced admission.

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Where is it? La Rambla, 51-59, 08002 Barcelona

On April 4, 1847, an artistic piece was performed for the first time at the recently inaugurated Teatre del Liceu, the most important and prestigious theater in the city of Barcelona. Since then, millions of people have passed through the Gran Teatre del Liceu, known simply as El Liceu, to enjoy some of the great plays and music ever created, as well as to enjoy its impressive architecture.

The original Liceu has a curious origin related to the military. In 1837, the Sociedad Dramática de Aficionados, a liberal organization of armed citizens created by members of the National Militia, decided to build a music conservatory in Barcelona. The city was in full economic development and soon this conservatory was converted into the Liceo Filarmónico Dramático Barcelonés from S.M. the Queen Isabel II, with the mission of cultivating music and singing in adition to the theatre. The Liceu soon became one of the main symbols of power, the nobility and the Catalan bourgeoisie.

The Liceu welcomes all types of artistic works, from theater plays to musicals, operas or zarzuelas. There are several types of seats from which to enjoy the shows at different prices. The most expensive are the private boxes, being the central part the best and pricier. On the higher and with less visibility areas, we find the seats with a more affordable price. On the web you can see the schedules. The visit to the Liceu is worth it, not only to enjoy the opera or music show, but to enjoy this architectural gem from the inside during the entrance, exit and in the intermission pause.

Here are some things to keep in mind if you visit the Liceu:

    Tickets can be purchased at the box office, by phone or online.

    There are up to 15 different rates for each of the 8 theater areas. Check the web to find the perfect place for you.

    There is the possibility of buying season tickets.

    The consumption of food and drink is prohibited, except in the Liceu cafeteria.

    You can visit the Liceu without the need of catching a show.

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