The theater opened in 1847 with private funding and its main purpose was to promote musical education. It soon gained an international reputation and became one of the most important opera houses in Spain. But the building was not always as impressive and beautiful as it is today. In two fires in the building, the ongoing activity was halted and years of renovation and reconstruction were required in order to restore it to its activity.
The first fire took place in 1861. The fire caused damage, but was not severe. After a year, the theater opened again to visitors. In 1993, about a year after the Olympic Games in Barcelona, following an electric short circuit, a fire broke out and destroyed the place. The renovators used old photographs and sketches and tried to preserve the original appearance of the theater. The damage was so severe that it took six whole years to renovate and restore the hall and stage. In 1999, after all that has happened, the theater reopened to the public.
The theater has over 2,200 seats. Here, you can listen to different operas by Vardi, Donizetti, Bizet, and Mozart, sung by the best singers in the world. Every day at 10:00 am a guided tour begins of the theater, that lasts for about half an hour.
The lower class, those who could not pay the viewing box prices, entered the theater from a side street called San Pau, and sat in the upper galleries. Viewing the stage from this angle was not so great, and the acoustics in the upper galleries was not as great either.
Today, all the visitors enter from the main entrance on La Rambla Avenue, thought the ticket price differences still exist, and is pretty large.
Take a look at the ceiling frescoes, where you can see the god Apollo sitting on a train, surrounded by nine muses. On the walls of the hall there are quotes and sentences that idealize music, and also many golden decorations.
In 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the whiplash of an explosion from a bomb that fell near the theater, caused the collapse of the ceiling and huge damage to the theater. The ceiling was recreated, of course, and the theater was renovated a few years later.