Nestled between Barcelona and Andalusia along the southeastern coast of Spain, Valencia meets the Mediterranean sea as a beautiful port city steeped in layers of rich culture. Located here is the opera house Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia created in 2005, one of the world’s most stunning performing art centers designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava and home to the Valencian Community Orchestra. Recognized as an international landmark, the Palau de les Arts is where the most distinguished opera, musical and theater performances come to life.
The Opera House
The Palau de les Arts stands as the world’s tallest opera house at 75 meters in a stunning 55,000 square-meter white silhouette encompassing four halls: the Sala Principal (Main Hall), Aula Magistral (Master Room), Auditorium and Martín y Soler Theatre. The Sala Principal seats 1,500 mainly for opera and other performing arts, boasting four levels of seating and the world’s third largest orchestra pit. Spiralling staircases and panoramic lifts can be found towards the sides of the venue, offering various access paths to walkways and Mediterranean gardens.
From afar, the Palau appears to be floating mid-air due to the foundational support that sustains the futuristic feather-shaped silhouette. The glass and white exterior surrounded by a serene open water pool creates a striking presence when one approaches the Palau, foreshadowing the grand musicality waiting within.
The Opera Experience
Music journalists have acclaimed the Palau to have the best opera orchestra in Spain and it is no question as to why. With Lorin Maazel as the previous music director, and Roberto Abbado and Fabio Biondi as the current joint music directors, the Palau witnessed a movement in its musical direction welcoming performers such as Christopher Ventris, Vittorio Grigolo, Maria Guleghina, Cristina Gallardo-Domâs and Plácido Domingo.
Now under the management of David Livermore since 2015, the opera house has set its eyes to become the “Mecca for Music.” The Palau strives to be both the public performing arts center and musical paradise for everyone.
Livermore’s new production of the 20th century English chamber opera The Turn of the Screw will introduce the Centre Perfecionament Plácido Domingo. Since the founding of the Palau, Plácido Domingo has maintained an especially strong relationship with the venue through the Operalia competition in 2007, the establishment of Centre Perfecionament Plácido Domingo—an advanced training program for young opera singers—and regular performances for every season.
The upcoming season for the Palau is abound with renowned conductors, musicians, singers and conductors. Plácido Domingo will star as Germont in a co-production of La Traviata with the Opera di Roma directed by Sofia Coppola. Opera performances at Palau de les Arts include Donizetti’s sublime Lucrezia Borgia, the tragic opera based on Goethe’s Werther by Jules Massenet, or Rossini’s Tancredi, with ballet performances of El Sombrero de Tres Picos.
Palau de les Arts
Discover the full program at Opera Valencia
09 Feb 2017
13 Nov 2016