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Opera in Spain

Spain is famous for the art of opera. A lot of places here offered inspiration for compositors and nowadays cities provide the perfect features and precious venues for the performance of national and international plays. If you are passionate about these classical music performances you should definitely visit the venues of Sevilla, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and Bilbao.

opera 1st pic modificado

Source: Spain Premium Magazine

Sevilla:

Some of the most famous interprets of internationally popular operas have been inspired by this beautiful Andalusian city, therefore it is also known as the “city of opera”. The character Don Juan Tenori, for example was created by Beaumarchais and influenced the operas of Mozart and Rossini.

Teatro de la Maestranza

Presenting the first performance in 1991 and hosting the Sevilla expo one year later, the theatre Teatro de la Maestranza gained a lot of cultural and touristic importance for the city. The programme does not only include worldwide known operas, but also symphonic concerts, soloist recitals, international stars, classical ballet, modern dance, flamenco and chamber music. In the year 2005 the building got refurnished and equipped with the most modern techniques to assure the high quality of the performance. Due to the renovation it is nowadays considered as a state-of-the-art theatre.

Teatro de la Maestranza sevilla

Source: a.i

Barcelona:

The capital of Catalunya, Barcelona is famous around the world due to a wide variety of different offers. One of it, is it’s exceptional architecture, which is also reflected in its theatres Gran Teatre del Liceu and Palau de la Musica Catalana.

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Built in 1847 by the architect Miquel Garriga i Roca, it is one of the oldest and most important opera house worldwide. Reconstructed with the old plans after a big fire in 1994, it is now certified with ISO-14001 standards for the environmental Management system. You can visit it during a tour or enjoying one of the famous operas, dance performances or symphonic music.

Palau de la Musica Catalana

The incomparable theatre Palau de la Musica Catalana was designed in Catalan Art nouveau. Marked by sculptures, mosaic, stained glass and ironwork it looks like a magical music box when daylight is shining through the coloured windows. It received the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 because of its stunning design.

Palau de la Musica Catalana barcelona

Source: Ticketea

Madrid:

Inaugurated in 1850, the Teatro Real got built under the order of Queen Isabel II and is know the most important place for operas in the capital of Spain.

Teatro Real

With the practical situation in the city centre, it has one of the most beautiful locations in Madrid, between the Plaza de Isabel II and Plaza de Oriente in front of the Royal Palace. It has a special importance in Madrid, protecting and promoting the Spanish artistic heritage with its programme including national and international operas, music and dance shows.

Teatro_Real_de_Madrid

Source: Wikipedia

Valencia:

The coastal city in the east of Spain, offers a combination of historic old town and buildings constructed in contemporary art. The theatre Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia is one of its modern flagships.

Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia

The Valician architecht Santiago Calatrava designed the theatre in 2005. The idea of Santiago was to reflect water and the sea in a modern style. The building has floating structures surrounded by more than 60.000 square meters of gardens, pathways and 11.000 square meters of water in reflecting pools.

El_Palau_de_les_Arts_Reina_Sofía,_Valenciaç

Source: Wikipedia

Bilbao:

Situated in the North of Spain, the capital of the Basque country is known for the Bilbao Association of Friends of the Opera (ABAO-OLBE), which features every year an opera season programme including one of the most famous international performances. The main venue for operas in Bilbao is the Euskalduna conference centre, located in the heart of the city.

Euskalduna conference centre

The building was opened in 1999 and designed by the architects Federico Soriano and Dolores Palacios. It won the Enric Miralles award for architecture at the 6th Spanish Architecture Biennial in 2001. Besides operas organized by the association ABAO-OLBE it also hosts different economic, business, academic, political, institutional, social and cultural events and orchestras.

bilbao opera

Source: BiDC

Spain is always a good idea, when you are interested in musical culture. The cities above perfectly combine opera performances with the great architecture of the theatres.

With the recently launched opera packages of us you will have the ultimate experience of the most important sites including one of the best operas.

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Spain is known for its numerous festivals and celebrations throughout the whole year, which always attract many visitors. But one of the most spectacular events is without doubts the carnival in Spain. Carnival is celebrated in every Spanish city, but there are some destinations that can be highlighted, because of their spectacular celebrations. In case you want to experience the carnival season in Spain, you should pay a visit to the Canary Islands, especially Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. On the mainland it is worth visiting the Andalusian city of Cadiz.

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carnival in Tenerife (source: Diario ABC)

The carnival of Tenerife is traditionally celebrated in February in the capital of the island, Santa Cruz de Tenerife. During the time of carnival, Santa Cruz is not to be recognized, the streets are full of locals and visitors from all around the world. The Santa Cruz carnival is considered to be the second most internationally known carnival, after the one in Rio de Janeiro. It is known for its colourful street parades and flamboyant costumes. Moreover, there are murgas (musical theatre), comparsas (groups of musicians and dancers) and rondallas (ensembles of stringed instruments) to be seen all over the city. Next to the official program, thousands of people gather on the street to celebrate together, most of them wearing creative costumes.

In Gran Canaria, the most exciting carnival takes place in Las Palmas, the capital of the island. This year’s theme is “La eterna primavera”, the eternal spring. Popular events during the carnival celebrations are the Queen Gala and the Drag Queen Gala. The Queen Gala features amazing dresses that are displayed by the candidates for the queen of the festival. All of the dresses are designed by renowned creators. The quality of the fabrics used and the size of the outfits, their colours and the originality of their designs are amazing and definitely worth seeing. This gala is one of the most eagerly awaited nights of the festivities.

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Queen Gala (source: Carnaval de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)

The Drag Queen Gala is another high-profile carnival event. There are always so many candidates in the competition that a qualifying stage has to be held in order to decide which drag queens will participate in the final. When the final arrives, live entertainment, gender transgression, audacity and a total lack of inhibition are combined on the stage in a show that will leave its audience speechless. Another part of the celebration is a big parade with costumed musicians and dancers that crosses the city over six kilometres.

The carnival celebration on both islands is ended with the traditional entierro de la sardina, the burial of the sardine, celebrated with a big parade through the cities. At the end of this parade, a huge sardine, which symbolises the spirit of carnival, is burnt . With this event the locals say farewell to the big festival, accompanied by great fireworks.

In Cadiz, in Andalusia, the whole city participates in the carnival celebrations for more than two weeks. The carnival festivities of Cadiz are especially known for the parody, sarcastic criticism and droll puns, often connected to politics. The celebration in Cadiz clearly differs from other carnivals in Spain, as its focus is not so much on colourful costumes and glamour, but on imaginative and clever attire that expresses the criticism. In the centre of attention during the Cadiz carnival are the chirigotas, satirical groups of performers, who express their witty messages through their music and lyrics. These music groups all compete in the Official Contest that is yearly held at the Gran Teatro Falla, shortly before the carnival begins.

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Do you like classical music? How about combining top-level international orchestras and soloists with subtropical weather, beautiful beaches and idyllic volcanic landscapes? From 7 January to 6 February 2017, the 33rd International Music Festival of the Canary Islands will be held on the Canary archipelago, considered to be the most important music event of the Canary Islands.

The festival is aimed to enrich the islanders’ cultural life as well as to promote high-level cultural tourism. Due to the islands’ favourable weather, the festival is celebrated during the winter months, being the only European festival to be held in winter. During the months of January and February the average maximum temperature on the Canary Islands is 22ºC and the average minimum temperature is 14ºC, with sunny and clear skies. The perfect weather to go for a hike or take a walk along the beach.

The festival has become a relevant event on the winter agenda, counting with the presence of renowned soloists and artists. The 2017 festival is specially aimed to diffuse the Spanish and South American musical heritage. It will count with about 650 musicians from around the world, 89 concerts and 78 works to be performed. One of the highlights of this edition will be the historical union of the two greatest symphonic orchestras of the archipelago. The Philharmonic Orchestra of Gran Canaria and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra will be performing together Schoenberg´s “Gurre – Lieder” on 13 and 14 January.

 

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Symphony Orchestra of Tenerife (source: Gobierno de Canarias)

The main venues of the festival are definitely worth a visit, even without events taking place. The Auditorio Alfredo Kraus on Gran Canaria, named after the most international Canary Island tenor, is located at the end of Las Canteras Beach and is one of the most representative and outstanding constructions of the island. You shouldn’t miss to see some highlights of the auditorium: On the one hand, you can enjoy stunning views over the sea from its enormous panoramic window in the Auditorium Symphonic Hall. On the other hand, this hall houses a spectacular organ with 2.750 pipes, one of the largest of the Canary Islands.

Another main venue is the Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martin. It is located in the Canarian capital Santa Cruz de Tenerife, next to the Atlantic Ocean. The majestic profile of the building has become an architectural symbol of the city and the archipelago. It is especially famous for its great arc, with its tip not being supported. Seen from the sea it is often compard to the Sydney Opera House. Inside, the auditorium also differs from traditional designs, as it attempts to surround the listener with sound sources.

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Auditorio de Tenerife Adán Martín (source: Turespaña)

To know more about both venues, you could participate in one of the guided visits that are organized to introduce visitors into the history and show the architectural highlights the buildings have to offer.

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