Opera for all in València

Public date: 
Saturday 16 September 2017

A night at the opera is one of those experiences that everybody should try at least once in their lives. Feel the passion of the singers, the quality of the musicians, the beauty of the set design… When you add a spectacular venue like the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia in València, you’re in for a very special treat… yet something that anybody can afford!

València’s opera house is truly stunning. Welcoming visitors into the City of Arts and Sciences, the huge structure of the Palau de les Arts, designed by Santiago Calatrava, resembles something between a bird’s skull and a helmet out of Star Wars, depending on the imagination of the viewer. Its surface covered with trencadís, the typical Valencian tile mosaic, shines in the Mediterranean sun.

Inside, its four halls have seen some of the top names in the world of opera, classical music, theatre and dance since its opening season in 2006. Of course, opera is the biggest star, performed at the Sala Principal, an impressive room with a stage so tall that you could even fit the Cathedral’s Miguelete bell tower in it! Bizet’s Carmen, Verdi’s Aida and La Traviata, Wagner’s Ring des Nibelungen… all the most famous operas have taken centre stage in València.

And this season, it will be no different. The pre-season starts in October with Puccini’s Madame Butterfly and Le Cinesi by Gluck. But the big opening will be on 9th December 2017 with the first performance of Verdi’s Don Carlo, starring no other than Placido Domingo, without doubt one of the world’s biggest opera stars. Il Corsaro (Verdi), Tosca (Puccini), La damnation de Faust (Berlioz), La clemeza di Tito (Mozart), Peter Grimes (Britten) and Il mondo della luna (Haydn) complete the programme which extends up till the end of June 2018.

And the good news is that you don’t need to be posh to enjoy opera in València. With tickets starting at just 7 euros for the pre-season and 15 euros for the main season, anybody can become an opera enthusiast. You will just need to be quick to grab them when they go on open sale online on 5th October (except for pre-season, already on sale).

And even if you don’t get tickets, or if you are not interested in opera at all, you can still visit the magnificent opera house on a special Open Doors Day on 24th September, and enjoy a free concert by the València Region Orchestra. There are also two more Open Door Nights next year, on 13th and 14th July 2018, when you will be able to visit after dark. Put the date on your diary now!

It is not just opera that you can enjoy at the Palau de les Arts. There is also a programme of classical music concerts that, this year, includes the Brandenburg Concerts and works by Wagner and Mahler. And if you prefer dance, you can choose between a performance of Carmen by the Antonio Gades Company or a modern take on Falla’s El amor brujo by the Spanish theatrical group La Fura dels Baus.

Opera really is for all, young and old. Tourists and locals alike become fans after the experience. Julia Roberts’ character in Pretty Woman felt totally overwhelmed… How will you feel after a night at the opera?