The Teatro Real in Madrid is considered to be the top institution in the country in the music and performing arts field.
On January 7, 1817, King Ferdinand VII ordered an opera house to be built on the Plaza de Oriente. The first stone was laid for the construction of the Teatro Real on April 23, 1818. The theatre was renamed Teatro Nacional de la Ópera after the Glorious Revolution of 1868. In October 1925, subsiding in the building forced the theatre to be closed and a 41-year period of repairs ensued without the building opening again. The Civil War (a powder keg exploded inside the building) and hardships during the postwar years made reconstruction even more difficult and everything came to a standstill.
In 1966, the building opened to the public both as an auditorium and the offices of the Real Conservatorio de Música y Escuela de Arte Drámatico. The last concert by the Orquesta Nacional, seated here, was on October 13, 1988. From 1966 to 1988 the Teatro Real was the main concert venue in Madrid, but the need for a proper opera house led to the conversion of the building into an opera house, which began on January 2, 1991. This time the renovations lasted nearly 7 years. The opening included the performance of Manuel de Falla’s opera La Vida Breve and the ballet El Sombrero de tres picos.
In 2017, the Teatro Real celebrated the 20th anniversary of its reopening (1997-2017).