Situated on La Rambla, El Liceu Opera Barcelona is Barcelona’s oldest opera house and it is one of the biggest opera houses in the world with a seating capacity of over 2000 people. At first you may not realise the importance or grandeur of this building and walk straight past its comparatively unassuming exterior. On the street you do not get a sense of the extensive interior space which awaits you leading into the beautiful and ornate auditorium.
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It was originally opened in 1847 and has had a long and at times troubled history. El Liceu Opera Barcelona has survived through two fires and a bomb attack in 1893. However, it continues to thrive and is an important cultural symbol for the city of Barcelona.
In 1994, a fire destroyed major parts of the theatre’s interior and put into question the very survival of this emblematic building. Thankfully, it was decided to be painstakingly and carefully restored to its former glory whilst also adding some extra high-tech touches. In 1999, El Liceu reopened its doors and is now more popular than ever.
If you would like to see a performance in this amazing space, you can find the programme on the opera house’s website. It offers a variety of performances, not just operas but ballets and concerts to suit all ages and tastes. There are also adaptations of famous operas aimed at children called ‘Petit Liceu Families’.
If you don’t get the chance to see a performance here, then you should at least take a tour of this impressive building. You can take guided or non-guided tours of El Liceu Opera Barcelona which are available everyday. Guided tours are at 10am in the morning each day and non-guided tours are at 11.30am, 12pm, 12.30pm and 1pm. It is also possible to take a behind the scenes tour to gain an insight into the inner workings backstage, perfect for budding theatre students. These tours need to be reserved beforehand and cost €12.50.
- Address: La Rambla, 51-59
- Transport: By Metro – Metro: L3 (green), stop Liceu | By Bus – 14, 59, 91.
- Prices: Guided tour: €10.5 | Tour without guide: €5.5
- Schedules: Guided tour: Monday-Sunday, 10am. | Tour without guide: 11.30am, 12pm, 12.30pm, 1pm
- Web: http://www.liceubarcelona.cat/en.html