The Teatro Real opera house celebrates its 200th birthday with an extraordinary programme

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The Teatro Real opera house celebrates its 200th birthday with an extraordinary programme

Video mapping on the surface of Madrid’s Teatro Real on the European Opera Days. Photo: EFE/Víctor Lerena. (EFE)
Video mapping on the surface of Madrid’s Teatro Real on the European Opera Days. Photo: EFE/Víctor Lerena. (EFE)

Opera enthusiasts in Spain have reason to celebrate, since the Teatro Real opera house will offer an exceptional programme to mark its 200th birthday and the 20th anniversary of its re-opening in 1997. It will be a milestone in the history of the opera house itself and of Spanish performing arts at large, since Teatro Real has achieved unique distinction in Europe.

To celebrate the two anniversaries, Teatro Real is offering a programme of revivals and newly released operas like Lucio Silla, a work by young Mozart – he composed it when he was 16 – that has never been performed in Madrid. This production features tenors Kurt Streit and Benjamin Bruns, and sopranos Patricia Petibon and Julie Fuchs.

The audiences will also be able to enjoy Street Scene, by Kurt Weill, described as an American opera, a blend of European traditional opera and American musical theatre, with elements of comedy, jazz and social criticism.

Also on stage will be Die Soldaten, the first opera ever composed by Bernd Alois Zimmermann. With a most complex structure, Die Soldaten is considered to be one of the most challenging operas of the twentieth century.

Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana is most awaited at Teatro Real. Directed by the renowned British musical director Ivor Bolton, Gloriana focuses on the later years of the reign of Elizabeth I.

The programme also includes an opera based on the life of Picasso: El pintor, by Spanish composer Juan José Colomer with libretto by Albert Boadella, who will also be the stage director. Dead Man Walking, by Jake Heggie, and Lucia di Lammermoor, by Gaetano Donizetti, with David Alden as stage director and Daniel Oren as conductor, are included too.

Other modern, romantic, classical and baroque operas will come on state at Madrid’s opera house: Verdi’s Aida, Bizet’s Carmen, Händel’s Ariodante and Puccini’s La bohème, a new co-production of Teatro Real, London’s Royal Opera House and Lyric Opera of Chicago.

There is a place for dance in Teatro Real’s anniversary programme. There will be performances by the Royal Ballet of London, Víctor Ullate Ballet, Dresden Frankfurt Dance Company and the Spanish National Ballet.

This season started out with a most-awaited announcement: the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando Honorary Medal awarded to Teatro Real. The gala will take place on 13 November.