To experience an opera live is a pleasure hard to describe. The music, the powerful voices, the atmosphere, scenery, effects and many other things that help to create an atmosphere that surrounds you and helps you feel like an active part of the opera’s plot.
If you have not yet seen an opera, we recommend that you do so! An exceptional place to do so is the Liceu Gran Theatre in Barcelona, the most prestigious and oldest theatre in the city. The best operas in the world visit the Liceu every year, so if you are visiting Barcelona and would like to enjoy a good opera, you cannot miss the opportunity.
Barcelona’s Liceu is located in the Rambla of Barcelona, a few metres from the famous Boqueria market. This theatre was built in 1847, and since then, it has been host to the most prestigious operas and singers in the world.
The Liceu’s opera programme for this fall includes the works of Richard Strauss and the famous “Arabella” opera. This opera, that will be represented on the 17th, 20th, 23rd, 26th and 29th of November, brings to the stage the atmosphere of decay in Austria in 1860. Count Waldner, depressed by the debts he has, tries to find a rich husband for his daughter.
This opera was first premiered on the 1st of July 1933 in Dresden’s Super Staat Theatre and was first played at the Liceu on the 7th of January 1962. Today, you have the opportunity to enjoy this stunning opera in Barcelona.
Another opera to be represented in the Liceu in the coming months is “Mary Stuart” by Gaetano Donizetti. The play will be staged there the following 19th, 21st, 23rd, 27th, 29th and 30th of December, as well as on the 2nd, 3rd, 7th, 8th and 10th of January of the following year.
Mary Stuart was Queen of Scotland until she was tried for treason and sentenced to be beheaded. Her terrible mistake was to have opposed the will of her powerful cousin, Elizabeth I. This opera was first represented in Milan’s Teatro Scala in 1835 and, although censorship managed to keep the opera off the stages across Europe for many years, in 1958 it returned to the stages to a great success.
On the other side, on the 18th, 20th and 22nd of January, the public will have the opportunity to enjoy in the Liceu in Barcelona the operas “Una voce in off” and “La voix humaine”. They are both two short pieces that revolve around the main character’s emotional stability.
In ‘Una voce in off’ by Xavier Montsalvatge, the emphasis is placed on a woman who finds a tape recording from her late husband, where he confesses his deep admiration for her, although he had practically ignored her in life. She them starts making fun about it, and plays the recording to her new lover, who will witness a change in attitude the more she listens to the tape, until he becomes jealous.
Francis Poulenc’s ‘La voix humaine’ is a one act for a single character. The monologue reveals the main character’s inner world, who is facing a romantic tragedy that pushes her to the limit.