Madrid is such a beautiful city, with a varied cultural agenda, stunning buildings and areas of outstanding beauty at every turn. If you’re planning a trip to Madrid, a great way to immerse yourself into this exquisite culture is by getting to know Madrid’s rich classical music and opera scene. There are plenty of places where you can throw yourself into the indulgent opera scene; and get a closer look at the interior of Madrid’s most beautiful theatres whilst you’re at it. Seasonal musicals and shows regularly occupy the wonderful theatres. It is advised that you check individual venue websites for further information about upcoming productions.
The main opera house in Madrid is the Teatro Real. Stunningly located just in front of the quaint Palacio Real, the Teatro Real opened in 1850. Its wonderful, grand exterior makes it easy to see why this design was chosen as a centre of scenic representations for royalty. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was hand-plucked from ancient Greece and delicately placed in Madrid. The Teatro Real closed its doors in 1925, not to be reopened again until 1997. With a capacity of 1,746, it has now established itself as one of the greatest operatic theatres in Europe. If you’re thinking of seeing a musical performance, it is also worth taking advantage of the Teatro Real’s guided tour, available in several languages, which transcends the nine beautiful floors.
Another building of classical music significance in Madrid is the wonderful Auditorio Nacional de Musica. A relatively modern building, opened in 1988, the centre has become headquarters to the National Chorus and National Orchestra. What could be more enjoyable during your trip to Madrid than sitting in the impressive auditorium and allowing a wonderful piece from the varied classical music programme to wash over you? The building itself is simply marvellous, with the Main Hall comfortably seating an outstanding 2,324 people. The seats are situated all around the concert stage and are generously staggered to allow fantastic views for all. Make sure you get a peep at the impressively large pipe organ before you leave!
Another simple breath-taking theatre that salutes the opera and classical music scene in Madrid is the Teatro de la Zarzuela. This theatre’s unsurprising niche is zarzuela': traditional, Spanish musical theatre. If you’re looking for a truly historic bite of Madrid, it doesn’t get much better than going to see a zarzuela. Similar to a British West-End musical, zarzuela’s alternate between spoken and sung songs and tend to be funnier than operas. Luckily, the theatre offers a Spanish translation. If you opt out of this, you may wish to brush up on your basic Spanish to give you a fighting chance of following the story. The Teatro de la Zarzuela is situated on the calm and peaceful Calle de Jovellanos. The exterior is so symmetrical is looks like something straight out of a Wes Anderson film. If you’re not lucky enough to visit Madrid during one of the zarzuela tenancies, the theatre’s programme also boasts unmissable music recitals, operettas and special family-orientated shows. There’s also the occasional dance performance, often by the Complain Nacional de Danza.
So explore the vibrant and beautiful opera and classical music scene whilst in Madrid. With performances and theatres this wonderful, you’re sure to find a new passion.
Insider’s Madrid Private Walking Tours give you the chance to take in some of these exquisite buildings, as well as the other main sights Madrid has to offer.
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