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Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

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La Rambla 51-59
Barcelona, 08002 Spain
http://www.liceubarcelona.cat
gran teatre del liceu 1024x683 - Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona
Barcelona Gran Teatre del Liceu. Photo: Jordi Play

Barcelona’s opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, was founded on the Rambla in 1847 and has continued over the years to fulfil its role as a culture and arts centre and one of the symbols of the city.

Today it is publicly-owned (by the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council and the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte) and administered by the Fundació del Gran Teatre del Liceu which, in addition to the aforementioned bodies, incorporates the Patronage Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu (the old society of owners).

The artistic history of the Liceu mirrors the history of opera in the Western World. Initially, opera occupied a relatively small place on the bill, alongside numerous plays, concerts and variety shows. Later, however, the Liceu gradually evolved into a prestigious opera house. The first opera to be staged there – Donizetti’s Anna Bolena – was a sign of the taste for bel canto and contemporary Italian Romantic drama, including works by Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi and others which have remained in the repertoire ever since (Verdi is the most frequently staged composer). French opera was also popular, both the now-forgotten composers of grand opera (Auber, Meyerbeer and Halévy) and later French composers (such as Gounod, Bizet, Massenet and Saint-Saëns), whose works are still performed.

The first performance of an opera by Wagner, one of the Liceu audience’s best-loved and admired composers, took place in 1883. His works have given the Liceu many unforgettable moments. Other much-appreciated schools are late 19th-century Verism – especially Puccini – and Russian opera  Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Tchaikovsky which reached the Liceu in 1915. The impresario Mestres Calvet enhanced the artistic quality of the bill with his stagings of works by composers including Mozart, Strauss, Falla and Stravinsky and shows by Diaghilev’s Russian Ballets. Gradually the repertoire came to encompass the most widely performed titles from all over the world. The second half of the 20th century saw the premieres of works by practically all the century’s great composers (Bartók, Honegger, Gershwin, Berg, Janácek, Weill, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten, Schönberg, Hindemith, etc.) and revivals of Baroque and classical composers such as Monteverdi, Händel and Gluck.

Works by Catalan composers such as Pedrell, Granados, Morera, Pahissa, Vives, Toldrà, Montsalvatge and Gerhard have been staged at the Liceu. Some of the best voices of all time – foremost among them the Catalan singers Victoria de los Ángeles, Montserrat Caballé, Jaume Aragall and Josep Carreras – have been heard there too, and the finest conductors and operatic stage directors have worked there.

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November 2017

Tristan und Isolde by Wagner @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

November 28, 2017 - December 15, 2017
Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, La Rambla 51-59
Barcelona, 08002 Spain
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Tristan und Isolde @liceu cover  300x153 - Tristan und Isolde by Wagner @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Tristan und Isolde is the culmination of Wagner’s artistic ethos and is an opera which revolutionized tonal music with its harmonic ambiguity. At the same time, the work musically conveys Arthur Schopenhauer’s nihilistic philosophy. Àlex Ollé’s (La Fura dels Baus) stage direction concentrates on symbolic language, and he does an excellent job of characterizing the protagonists. The stage design by Alfons Flores and video projections by Franc Aleu contribute to the realization of the Wagnerian ideal of a “comprehensive work of…

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February 2018

Roméo et Juliette by Gounod @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

February 14 - March 4
Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, La Rambla 51-59
Barcelona, 08002 Spain
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romeo et juliete ken howard 300x195 - Roméo et Juliette by Gounod @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

A timeless story with Saimir Pirgu and Aida Garifullina / Katerina Tretyakova who will alternate the role of Juilette. The most famous love story in literature has been turned into the most faithful likeness to the original tragedy by Shakespeare thanks to the talent of Charles Gounod, one of the great representatives of French lyric drama. Roméo et Juliette returns to the stage of the Gran Teatre del Liceu after a 32-year absence. This co-production with the Santa Fe Opera is directed by Stephen…

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March 2018

Andrea Chénier by Giordano @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

March 9 - March 28
Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, La Rambla 51-59
Barcelona, 08002 Spain
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Still from Andrea Chenier @ Liceu  300x145 - Andrea Chénier by Giordano @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Kaufmann, Álvarez and Radvanovsky fight for freedom and love during the French revolution Andrea Chénier is a passionate love story set in the convulsive days of the terror at the height of the French Revolution. The opera is framed in full-throttle verismo, with its commitment to the embodiment of reality through great vocal and orchestral sensationalism. Jonas Kaufmann returns to the Liceu, performing for the first time in Barcelona with a staged opera. The great German tenor, one of the most sought…

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April 2018

Demon by Rubinstein @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

April 23 - May 11
Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, La Rambla 51-59
Barcelona, 08002 Spain
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gran teatre del liceu 300x144 - Demon by Rubinstein @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Rubinstein's masterpiece about the demon's love obsession Anton Rubinstein wrote more than fifteen operas, of which only Néro was seen in the Liceu in 1898. It was the first Russian opera staged in Barcelona. The composer and pianist - Liszt's rival - performed on two occasions at the Liceu. He played in the orchestra on one of them for the ballet of his opera, Demon, based on the homonymous poem of the “cursed” Mikhail Lermontov, branded as sacrilegious and blasphemous by the Russian…

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June 2018

Manon Lescaut by Puccini @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

June 7 - June 22
Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, La Rambla 51-59
Barcelona, 08002 Spain
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manon lescaut liceu laura ferrari 300x197 - Manon Lescaut by Puccini @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

Inspired by the eponymous novel by the Abbé Prévost, Puccini achieved his first major success with Manon Lescaut. The story of the rise and fall of the courtesan Manon was written with captivating music, true to the principles of verism and with the right amount of heart-rendering emotion in passages such as the famous aria “Sola, perduta, abbandonata” of act four. Two acclaimed tenors share the role of Des Grieux, America’s Gregory Kunde and Spain’s Jorge de León. They are joined…

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July 2018

La Favorite by Donizetti @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

July 8 - July 24
Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona, La Rambla 51-59
Barcelona, 08002 Spain
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still of la favorite liceu 300x142 - La Favorite by Donizetti @Gran Teatre del Liceu, Barcelona

The great voices of Clémentine Margaine and Ksenia Dudnikova with Michael Spyres and Stephen Costello. Following his success in Paris with the French version of Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti received a new commission from the Opéra, on that occasion based on a libretto by Alphonse Royer, Gustave Vaëz and Eugène Scribe. The result was La favorite, a romantic opera which made a successful debut. The story is set in the 14th century and features a love triangle between King Alphonse XI of Castile, his mistress…

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