Royal Opera House
London's storied performing arts venue hosts some of the world's greatest operas and performances.
Construction on the Teatro Real began in 1818, after Ferdinand VII of Spain issued a Royal Order to remodel Madrid's Plaza de Oriente and build a formidable opera house on the former site of the Real Teatro de los Caños. While funding challenges and a change in architects delayed its opening until 1850, over the following decades, it became one of the most important operas houses in Europe.
In 1925, the building was shuttered for renovations and remained closed for 41 years because of the Spanish Civil War and financial difficulties. In 1966, it reopened as an auditorium and home of the Royal Conservatory of Music and School of the Dramatic Arts. In 1991, Teatro Real was closed yet again, and after the venue was restored to its original purpose as an opera house, it reopened in 1997.
A decade later, the Spanish government granted autonomy to Teatro Real de Madrid, allowing the venue to become a self-governing national cultural institution. Today, El Real presents a robust slate of operas, ballets, and concerts, focusing on both traditional repertory and contemporary forms, including 20th-century and avant-garde music.
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