A Theatre for the City of Music
A Theatre for the City of Music
The Teatro de la Maestranza was inaugurated on May 2, 1991. The work of architects Aurelio del Pozo and Luis Marín, its location on a privileged site of historical Sevilla, its exceptional technical features along with the quality and variety of its programming, makes the theatre one of the most prominent stage settings in Europe.
In spite of the 153 operas whose stories take place in Sevilla, the city did not have the adequate installations to stage such complex events. In 1985 the Diputación Provincial de Sevilla, which owned the public plot of land of a former military barracks -Maestranza de Artillería-, put out a call for tenders to construct a covered polyvalent auditorium. Architects Aurelio del Pozo and Luis Marín were chosen to carry out the project.
The building began on February 10, 1987. However in mid 1988, and with the approaching date of The World’s Fair in Sevilla -Expo’92-, the project was adapted as the need for a performance space to accommodate opera and large scale symphonic programmes became a priority.
Queen Sofía of Spain opened the theatre on May 2, 1991. In the years that followed, tens of thousands made the theatre their own. There was a renewed interest in opera, classical music and ballet with Season tickets subscriptions and sold out Box Office events. In this way, today’s audience remains the theatre’s most staunch supporter. The consolidation of the Maestranza as a beacon of culture at both a local and global level resulted in a renovation during the years 2005 to 2007. The performance area was extended and with this new space, the structures and technical features were aligned with the production needs of any major theatre.
The importance of the Teatro de la Maestranza in reactivating stage and musical events in Sevilla, a city which has played a key role in the history of opera and has been fundamental in the development of flamenco was recognised by UNESCO: in 2006. Sevilla was the first city in the world to be awarded the title of “City of Music”.
The Maestranza has also evolved as a cultural factory with the creation of in-house productions. During the 30 years since it opened, this Spanish theatre has staged numerous operas of its own making: The Barber of Seville ( Rossini), Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, or most recently Così fan tutte ( Mozart), Fidelio (Beethoven), Tannhäuser (Wagner), Turandot (Puccini), Le Cid (Massenet), La sonnambula (Bellini), Alahor in Granada (Donizetti), Der Diktator (Krenek). After their premieres at the Maestranza, many of these have been seen at other theatres in Spain, Europe and the Americas.
"With the inauguration of the Maestranza, Sevilla provided Scenic Art an operatic space at an international level."
Giancarlo del Mónaco
Many of the world’s names in culture, personalities of universal projection, head the long list of artists who have made history on the stage of the Teatro de la Maestranza: Opera singers Montserrat Caballé, Luciano Pavarotti, Alfredo Kraus, Plácido Domingo, Juan Diego Flórez, Jonas Kaufmann, Cecilia Bartoli or Philippe Jaroussky; Orchestra conductors Claudio Abbado, Lorin Maazel, Daniel Barenboim or Riccardo Muti; Musicians of the likes of Mstislav Rostropovich, Isaac Stern, María João Pires, Grigory Sokolov, Lang Lang, Narciso Yepes or Jordi Savall, among many others. There have been Composers who conducted their own music: Ennio Morricone, Krzysztof Penderecki or Philip Glass; Dancers Mikhail Baryshnikov, Tamara Rojo, Julio Bocca or Ángel Corella; Stage Directors Giancarlo del Mónaco, Franco Zeffirelli or Werner Herzog. As well, Jazz stars Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Wayne Shorter, Nina Simone or Chick Corea; the best Flamenco artists of our times such as Paco de Lucía, Mario Maya, Enrique Morente, Manolo Sanlúcar, María Pagés, Israel Galván, Eva Yerbabuena, along with leading lights in song: Ute Lemper, Caetano Veloso or Chavela Vargas.