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Gran Teatre del Liceu
Gran Teatre del Liceu Review
Barcelona's famous opera house on the Rambla, in all its gilt and stained-glass and red plush glory, runs a full season from September through June, combining the Liceu's own chorus and orchestra with first-tier, invited soloists from Roberto Alagna and Rolando Villazón to Nicole Cabell and Anna Netrebko. For most operas in any given season, there are also "popular" performances, with lesser-known but promising singers in the leading roles, at substantially lower prices. In addition, touring dance companies—ballet, flamenco, and modern dance—appear here. The downstairs foyer holds early-evening recitals, puppet shows for children on weekends, and occasional analytical discussions. The Espai Liceu under the opera house includes an excellent café; a gift shop for music-related DVDs, CDs, books, instruments, and knickknacks; and a tiny 50-seat theater projecting fragments of operas and a video of the history of the Liceu. Seats can be expensive and hard to get; reserve well in advance.
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