Theatres in Barcelona
There are some spectacular theatres in Barcelona – ranging from the classic Liceu Opera House on La Rambla to the ultra-modern L’Auditori, quite close to the Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes.
The Gran Teatre del Liceu was opened in 1847 and, although the shell of the building is completely classical in style, because of a fire, the inside was dramatically modernised upon its re-opening in 1999. With seats for 2,292 people, this is one of Europe’s largest Opera Houses and it not only features surtitles above the proscenium arch but also has an electronic libretto system available on most of the seats. There can be up to 40 different productions at the Liceu every season – it is an absolute delight for opera buffs. The nearest Metro, Liceu, is right outside the door.
The Auditori was, coincidentally, also opened in 1999 – but this is a completely contemporary building with a simply stunning main theatre, Pau Casals, holding 2,200 people and smaller halls housing 600 and 400 respectively. L’Auditori is the base of the Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona.
Just a stone’s throw along the Avenida Meridana is the equally stunning Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, constructed in 1996. Again featuring three separate performing spaces, this features mainly Catalan plays, although there have been more translated plays performed here in recent years. The past winter season, for example, featured Gógol’s comedy, ‘The Government Inspector’ and a play by the popular Swedish author, Henning Mankell. Both of these fabulous venues are equidistant between the Metro stations of Glòries and Marina.
In the Gràcia area of the city is the delightful Teatre Lliure, with Fontana as its nearest Metro. Another three-spaced venue – although one of the halls is currently under reconstruction, amongst the plays recently performed here was one by Harold Pinter.
Lovers of dance might well find some interesting productions at the Teatre Mercat de la Flors, not too far from Plaça Espanya on Carrer de Lleida, whilst close to Diagonal Metro on Passeig de Gràcia is the lovely Palau Robert. This has a variety of productions during the year, with three theatrical venues and a concert hall.
Finally, many people – visitors and locals alike – enjoy the special atmosphere to be found in Teatre Grec, designed by the Catalan architect Ramon Reventós in 1929 for the International Exhibition. This outdoor theatre in the picturesque setting of Montjuïc is the location of a Greek Festival every summer and provides some excellent productions.