Spanish Theatre

Spanish-TheatreThe Ministry of Culture in Spain is very supportive of all the arts and actively works towards making the performing arts accessible to Spaniards throughout the country. Music, dance and theatre are rich and plentiful in all cities, towns and villages throughout Spain. Whatever cultural event you are looking for, you will have many to choose from.

Centuries of art appreciation have served as inspiration to construct beautiful theatres throughout Spain. The Teatro Real in Madrid is one of the world’s most famous Spanish opera houses and is accompanied by many other beautiful theatres in cities such as Seville, Valencia and Barcelona where the stunning La Maestraza theatre is located.

From 1898 until 1936 there were three very popular genres presented in Spanish theatrical performances: Comedies on local customs, comedy sketches on Madrid or Andalucia and outrageous humour. Spanish theatrical then began to introduce productions of American plays and musicals onto the Spanish stages (in Spanish) as well as productions of dramas, classical and historical plays by Spanish playwrights.

Theatre in Spain has been somewhat distanced from what is going on in modern theatre in the rest of Europe. The Spanish public was happy enough with stagings of conventional and conservative repertoire. However, Spaniards began to get excited by theatre that was pushing the boundaries and challenging traditional ideas of music, sets, dialog and story lines…..avant garde theatre was born. From the first avant-garde productions, it is necessary to mention the work of theatre groups like “La Barraca” by Federico García Lorca, “El Caracol” by Valle-Inclán and “El Mirlo Blanco” by Baroja.

Dance in Spain covers a wide spectrum from classical ballet to modern dance and traditional flamenco to modern interpretations of flamenco and more. Performances are numerous year round and often have travelling shows that visit most major cities and various smaller towns. World renowned dancers in all genres of dance grace the stages with their talent and passion. Audiences crowd theatres to attend these events all over Spain.

Symphonies and operas are also very popular and prestigious events to attend in Spain. What better place to get all dressed up and go to see the Spanish Philharmonic play a concerto of Joaquin Rodrigo than in a historic and lavish opera house. Popular music and traditional Spanish music such as Flamenco are probably the most attended events of all the performing arts. The amazing technical abilities of Spanish guitar players draw audiences from around the world.

During feria in cities and villages special artists and performances are presented. Big name artists, performers, groups and productions can be seen playing at performing at these annual ferias. So, in addition to bull fights, dancing Sevillana and drinking fino, one can squeeze in a bit of culture!

The Ministry of Culture in Spain presents these cultural events to the public for very reasonable tickets prices…..and many times one can even attend for free! Local town halls are given substantial budgets to make these events accessible to everyone. It is really fantastic, but more than that, it is very impressive that the government is such an avid supporter of the arts. Most countries could learn by Spain’s example.

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