History

We continue to build the Liceu of the future

The Gran Teatre del Liceu has been and will be a bastion for opera in South Europe. Its roots date back to two centuries ago within the society of Barcelona who founded this Theatre following a unique way of organization and management in the continent. This was inherited from a tradition which is still maintained based on the collaboration among people in order to have the best opera house in the Mediterranean. And so it has been. Since its opening, the private initiative has been within Liceu’s DNA. By the mid-twentieth century the Liceu had become an international reference thanks to its 170 years of nonstop activity

The greatest artists of all times have performed at the Liceu. The Theatre is committed to continuing offering artistic excellence to the future generations. This feature together with the social and community programme –which has been strengthen during the past decades- and the economic sustainability are Liceu’s identity signs. Beyond all labels, the Liceu of everybody has become a reality every time and it has been able to overcome all adversities, the most recent in January 1994.

The same day the fire took place, which reduced the Liceu to ashes, the society immediately decided to rebuild the Theatre, which reopened in October 1999 with an unforgettable Turandot. This happened 20 years ago and the Liceu has managed to preserve an extraordinary musical legacy with no precedents in Spain. The Liceu was not only transformed in the driving force for opera in Spain but it was also a leading pioneer of innovation, new resources and artistic excellence. The Italian, Slavic or Wagner’s operas, or the romantic bel canto have been essential for the Liceu’s history which has always had great voices as references. 

Liceu’s demanding audience has always been devoted to the art of those singers, who give everything they have in each performance, but they are also enthusiastic about the most recognized music directors and set designers of every time. Furthermore, the Liceu has been an international reference for hosting world premieres showcasing programming unusual performances; programming the best sarsuelas, the most important ballet companies in the world, the greatest composers and the cutting-edge set designs.

In the past three decades, el “Petit Liceu” – the Education Department – has engaged more than 1 million kids in opera, music and performing arts allowing them to discover all secrets about these art forms. New technologies have made possible for the Liceu to go outside and arrive to a wider audience through different means: CDs, DVDs, cinemas, computers, mobile phones, tablets or intelligent TVs.

The Liceu’s social, educational and community objectives have propelled the institution to take opera to squares, community centres and universities and even to Latin America; the Orchestra and the Choir have performed in different towns and conferences have also been offered across the country. The Liceu has been pioneer in making opera accessible to people with disabilities but it has also been giving support to people living in the borough and to all society in general.

Nowadays, more than ever, we must ensure that our great grandchildren can discover and enjoy Liceu’s artistic, social and cultural richness. The Liceu also depends on you. We will continue to build the future.