Teatro Real

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Template:Infobox Theatre Template:Infobox Historic Site The Teatro Real (literally Royal Theatre) or simply El Real (as it is known colloquially), is a major opera house located in Madrid, Spain.<ref name="Teatro Real, Madrid's premier opera house">Template:Cite web</ref>


After thirty-two years of planning and construction, a Royal Order on 7 May 1850 decreed the immediate completion of the "Teatro de Oriente" and the building works were finished within five months. The Opera House, located just in front of the Palacio Real, the official residence of the Queen who ordered the construction of the theatre, Isabel II, was finally inaugurated on 19 November 1850, with Donizetti's La Favorite.<ref name="Teatro Real, Madrid's premier opera house"/> In 1863, Giuseppe Verdi visited the theatre for the Spanish premiere of his La Forza del Destino. In 1925, the Ballets Russes of Diaghilev performed in the theatre with the presence of Nijinsky and Stravinsky).<ref name="Teatro Real, Madrid's premier opera house"/><ref name="Cultural Institutions: Teatro Real">Template:Cite web</ref>

From 1867 it housed the Madrid Royal Conservatory until 1925 when a Royal Order on 6 December called for eviction owing to the damage that the construction of the Metro de Madrid had caused to the building). The theatre reopened in 1966 as a concert theatre and the main concert venue of the Spanish National Orchestra and the RTVE Symphony Orchestra. In 1969, the 14th Eurovision Song Contest was held at the theatre, featuring an onstage metal sculpture created by surrealist Spanish artist, Salvador Dalí.<ref name="Teatro Real, Madrid's premier opera house"/><ref name="Cultural Institutions: Teatro Real"/>

In the 1990s, the house was remodelled to host opera again and reopened in 1997. The remodelling was based on the old classical style of opera house with only basic modernizations leaving many seats without a view of the theatre. A considerable percentage of seats have a limited or zero view of the stage and a live stream of operas and ballets is projected on the upper side walls of the house so that the entire audience can follow the performance regardless of their view of the stage. The first opera program performed for the reopening was Manuel de Falla’s El sombrero de tres picos and La vida breve, which was immediately followed by the world premiere of Spanish composer Antón García Abril's Divinas Palabras (actually commissioned to open the house) with Plácido Domingo in the cast.<ref name="Cultural Institutions: Teatro Real"/> The company staged the first modern revival of Vicente Martín y Soler's Il burbero di buon cuore in 2007, and the world premiere of Philip Glass' opera The perfect American in 2013.


As may be expected, the most popular operas at the Teatro Real have been those from the popular repertoire. They have included Verdi's Rigoletto (given 371 performances), followed by Aida with 361 and Il trovatore with 342. On the other hand, two works by Meyerbeer, L'Africaine (with 268) and Les Huguenots (with 243) have been shown to draw audiences. Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia achieved was given some 218 performances since its debut in the house in 1919.

The company

The theatre stages around seventeen opera titles (both own productions and co-productions with other major European opera houses) per year, as well as two or three major ballets and several recitals.<ref name="Teatro Real, Madrid's premier opera house"/> The orchestra of the Teatro Real is the Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid. The current artistic manager is Joan Matabosch, former director of Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

The Opera House offers daily different types of guided tours, lasting between 50 and 90 minutes and given in various languages. This gives the public the opportunity to learn about the building, including the stage area, the workshops and the rehearsal spaces.<ref name=tours>Guided tours information on the company's website (in Spanish) Retrieved 1 August 2013</ref>

Artistic Directors (from 1995)

  • Stéphane Lissner (1995-1997)
  • Luis Antonio García Navarro (1997-2001, Artistic and music Director)
  • Emilio Sagi (2001-2005)
  • Antonio Moral (2005-2010)
  • Gerard Mortier (2010-2013) (Artistic Advisor from 2014)
  • Joan Matabosch (2014- )

Music Directors (from 1997)

  • Luis Antonio García Navarro (1997-2001, Artistic and music Director)
  • Jesús López Cobos (2003-2010)
  • Ivor Bolton (2014- )

See also

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  • Madrid Symphony Orchestra
  • Spanish National Orchestra


  • RTVE Symphony Orchestra
  • Community of Madrid Orchestra


  • Queen Sofía Chamber Orchestra
  • National Auditorium of Music


  • Teatro Monumental
  • Zarzuela




External links


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