Great theatre of Liceu
The Liceu theatre is a magnificent opera and emblematic building located at “la rambla, 51-59” street where in the beginning, it was frequented by the bourgeoisie.
During those past years, the building has changed, above all after surviving to the fire of 1994 but let’s start in 1838.
It was the year when an organization called “Sociedad Dramática de Aficionados” (Drama Aficionados Society) felt the necessity to create a music conservatory which would promote show, music and singing in an italian way.
The building has been built on the place where was located the former convent of Montsió by the architect
Miquel Garriga i Roca and Josep Oriol Mestres and it was inaugurated in 1847 with the name “Great Theatre of Liceu”. The project was financed by a group called “Societat de Propietaris” (Company of Owners) who, in 1855, took totally control of the theatre until 1980.
Due to the bad management by the group, the Catalan government decided to take hand on it and created the “Consorci del Gran Teatre del Liceu” (Consortium of Great Theatre of Liceu) to take care of the management and the operation of the building.
Unfortunately, the building was on fire the day january 31 1994 and fortunately, it was not reduced in ashes. The bigger damages were inside but some sections have been able to be saved like the hall of mirrors. In order to rebuild and to improve its infrastructure, the “Fundació del Gran Teatre del Liceu” (Foundation of Great Theatre of Liceu) was created in 1994.
The renovation project has been given to the architects Ignasi de Solà-Morales, Xavier Fabré and Lluís Dilmé. Mixing the old infrastructure with the new ones, the new Liceu was inaugurated the day october 7 1999.
The main change has been done to the main room with its stage since both have been completely destroyed during the fire and the new version is so impressive than the old one. Below the big room, there is a space called “foyer” (home) where the bar restaurant is located here and it is also used sometimes for concerts and small spectacles.
One of the new sections it is the shop, inaugurated in 2002, where people can buy souvenirs and it can be accessed from la rambla and sant pau streets. It includes a small auditorium where we can listen music and watch operatic projections.
It is worth to visit it and if you have time during your vacations, I recommend it. To take a look inside, you don’t need to buy a spectacle ticket but just a simple visit ticket which costs from 4€.
You have 2 choices, the one without and the one with recital. The one without recital will cost you 4€ and it lasts about 20 minutes – for 8€ you will have a guided visit and it lasts about 1h10 minutes. The one with recital will cost you 10€ with duration of about 1h45 minutes and you will need to reserve your place.
Both visits don’t have the same itinerary although some sections are common like the “foyer” space. In the other hand, it opens its door totally free during 1 day, normally the 2nd sunday of may from 10h until 18h for the celebration of the european opera days. If you want more information about the time schedule for example, I suggest you to check its official website.