One of the three most important cultural institutions in Madrid, together with the Prado Museum and the Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, is the Royal Theatre, the historic Spanish opera house where the greatest international stars of opera and ballet have performed and still perform today.
The bicentennial history of this prestigious theater has not always been glorious and happy: various setbacks have put its existence at risk, but the 1997 renovation brought it back to its ancient splendor, adding modern facilities and functionality that have increased its quality. acoustics and spectator comfort.
The most fascinating way to visit the Teatro Real is to attend a concert or a show, choosing from the classical and contemporary opera proposals of the rich annual program. Before taking your seat, take the time to admire the sumptuous decorations of the theater and in particular its magnificent glass chandeliers from the Real Fábrica de la Granja.
However, we recommend that you also participate in one guided tour of the theater, day or night: it is the only way to penetrate the secrets of the Teatro Real and discover how the magic of an opera is produced every evening.
Visit to the Royal Theater
For one day, forget about being a spectator and experience the magic of theater as protagonists: with one guided tour of the Teatro Real you can enter the rooms normally closed to the public, such as the rehearsal rooms, the dressing rooms or the luxurious royal box and get on a stage trodden by international opera stars.
You can choose between different types of guided tours.
Le general visits, available every day in the morning, focus on the history of the Teatro Real, architecture and decorations; you will discover the general functioning of an opera house and some curiosities about the Teatro Real.
After a artistic visit to the Teatro Real the work will have no more secrets for you! You will be explained in detail all the artistic aspects of the creation of a work: how the rehearsals take place, how the entrance on stage is conceived, what are all the professional figures of the costume department and the stage department including the fundamental role of the stage manager . You will also be able to discover secrets and curiosities of the current productions.
Le technical visits they are designed for those who have always wondered how complex scenographies change so quickly and how long it takes to prepare the scenography of a work and to remove it. You can see the setting up of a production in progress and the preparation for the next one.
La night visit, available only on specific days of the year, it is a unique opportunity to find out what happens in a theater after the curtain falls. You will be able to see the areas that made the magic of the opera possible from a technical point of view and the rooms where the artists were before and after the show.
All visits are available in Spanish and, upon request, also in English, French or German.
History of the theater
The Teatro Real as we know it today is the result of successive renovations and projects over the centuries. Its foundation dates back to 1818: it was the re Fernando VII to want to equip Madrid with an opera house that does not fear confrontation with theaters already present in other important European capitals.
During its construction, the architects Antonio López Aguado, Custodio Teodoro Moreno and Francisco Cabezuelo were in charge of the works. The theater opened its doors to the public in 1850; the inaugural work was “La favorita” by the Italian Gaetano Donizetti.
For over 70 years it was one of the most prestigious European theaters, but in 1925 a collapse seriously damaged the theater, causing it to close, which was to be only temporary. The outbreak of the civil war resulted in further damage to the theater, which at that time was used as a warehouse for firearms.
It took 1966 for the theater to reopen, but only as a concert hall. Major renovations will be carried out between 1991 and 1997, with the addition of a conference room, an exhibition space, new dressing rooms, rehearsal rooms and warehouses.
The theater as we see it today was reopened to the publicOctober 11 1997 with the performance of two works by Manuel de Falla, the ballet “Sombrero de tres picos” and the opera “La vida breve”.
The Teatro Real in numbers
Here are some curiosities about the most prestigious Spanish theater:
- The Teatro Real can accommodate between 1.748 and 1.854 spectators: the number varies according to the show and the editing needs.
- There are 28 and palchi of the Teatro Real, to which must be added eight prosceniums and a royal box.
- The stage has a surface of 1.472 square meters and is made up of 18 articulated platforms thanks to which it is possible to carry out complex changes of scenography.
- The warehouses and laboratories of the theater occupy an area of 3.485mq.
- Theater matters 11 dressing rooms individual and group dressing rooms for a total of 324 artists.