From the Golden Age to modern times, Madrid has been known for its bustling theatre life for centuries. Operas, classical theatres and new stage venues support a busy performance schedule that, for many visitors, is the main attraction to the historic city centre of Madrid where Galería Canalejas can also be found. There is nothing like visiting the city of Madrid to see a new show, a classical piece or a musical.
This benchmark institution and national opera house has enjoyed international acclaim since it was recognised in 2021 with the International Opera Award. Following the recent celebration of its bicentenary, the Teatro Real [Royal Theatre] continues to host traditional and cutting-edge opera performances in a totally renovated building with one of the most modern stage houses in the world.
The vibrant energy of an avenue like Gran Vía is fed by the permanent offer of musicals that attract hundreds of people to its theatres every day and make it a kind of Spanish Broadway. Such theatres as the Lope de Vega, the Rialto and the EDP Gran Vía offer some of the most famous works of the time as they constantly smash box office records.
This world-famous flamenco venue has hosted famous personalities from all walks of life, from politicians to huge stars of the silver screen, while the best flamenco dancers in history have performed on its stage. To dine at this venue in La Latina and witness the purest form of flamenco performed here is to enjoy an experience that will be hard to forget and impossible to recreate elsewhere.
The unmistakable Art Déco style of the Teatro Pavón façade conceals one of the most dynamic venues in Madrid. Abandoned for years, it was renovated in 2001 to house the Compañía Nacional de Teatro Clásico [National Classical Theatre Company] until 2015 when the Kamikaze experimental theatre moved in. It will re-open its doors in late 2021 with a schedule focused on musicals.
Located on the site of an old cinema and performance venue, the installations of this modern theatre that opened in 2006 house half of the reputable schedule by the Centro Dramático Nacional [National Drama Centre], this being its second headquarters. From the heart of the Lavapiés district, the contemporary spirit of this stage venue that began with the legendary Sala Olimpia continues to breathe.
This theatre, with a building that makes up one of the most beautiful corners of central Madrid, celebrated its centenary in 2017. Throughout this time, it has held a privileged spot on the city’s theatrical and cultural agenda. It currently offers major productions that are hugely successful at the box office starring some of the best performers in the business.
If anyone in Madrid is looking for somewhere to listen to live music, they should head straight over to Café Central. This venue has been a temple to jazz since the 1980s and more than 13,500 live concerts have been played here. It is one of those magical places for remembering why you fell in love with music while discovering the most important artists in this genre.
Birthplace of the most important Spanish directors and playwrights, this former 16th century corral de comedias (a type of open-air theatre specific to Spain) stands as the oldest theatre in the world in terms of continuous performances. From the Plaza de Santa Ana, as well as its extension in Las Naves del Español, it offers the most important national and international productions.
Anyone visiting or passing through Madrid has a unique opportunity to experience the purest essence of flamenco. Performances by the genre’s most recognised singer-songwriters, guitarists and dancers can be enjoyed at this flamenco venue. A stone’s throw from Puerta del Sol, such greats as Estrella Morente, Antonio Carmona and Tomatito have trodden the boards of its stage.
With a century of history and opened by King Alfonso XIII and Queen Victoria Eugenia, this theatre in central Madrid has steadily evolved to meet the needs and tastes of audiences in each period. From operatti to zarzuelas during its early days, this theatre later specialised in high comedy. Nowadays, classical and comedy performances can be enjoyed here.
Passionately dedicated to Spanish lyrical poetry, the Teatro de la Zarzuela [La Zarzuela Theatre] has been promoting and scheduling the best works and voices from the most authentic of genres - zarzuela - for over 150 years. This is a well-respected and deep-rooted venue in the city, considered to be an Asset of General Interest as a Monument, and is the first and only theatre for Spanish lyrical poetry.
This theatre from the late 19th century is one of the two headquarters (together with the Valle-Inclán Theatre) of the Centro Dramático Nacional [National Drama Centre]. It is responsible for promoting and consolidating the latest movements and trends in contemporary dramaturgy. A genuine benchmark season after season, it hosts works by Spanish authors of all periods and international pieces of extraordinary quality.
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