The very best of opera in Portugal

Where are the top places to see opera in Portugal? / Pixabay
Where are the top places to see opera in Portugal? / Pixabay
24 September 2018, Tom Beck

Portugal isn’t exactly known for its thriving opera scene and the country cannot boast the kind of wealth of composers and operas that Italy can, for instance. Notwithstanding, faint heart never won fair maiden, and so today idealista/news takes on the task of bringing you the best opera houses to visit in Portugal.

1. Teatro Nacional de São Carlos, Lisbon

The São Carlos National Theatre in Lisbon
The São Carlos National Theatre in Lisbon

Portugal’s most famous and most prestigious opera house in located in the capital city, Lisbon. The São Carlos, whose name translates as the National Theatre of St. Charles in English, was founded in way back on 30th June 1793 and the Italian neoclassical-style building has been classified as a property of public interest and a National Monument.

The building is located in the small but picturesque square of Rua Serpa Pinto in central Lisbon and what’s more, idealista serves as a patron for the TNSC, promoting high-quality artistic productions in the only Portuguese national operatic theatre.

For the 2018/19 season, the TNSC is putting on productions of Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème, as well as Nuno Côrte-Real’s original 1971 Portuguese-language opera A Canção o do Bandido coming up in November 2018.

Other classical music performances happening at the São Carlos in the near future include a concert of music for the violincello from Schumann, Bartók and Beethoven on 28th September with the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra, and the theatre is also hosting a showing of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker ballet in December, the perfect Christmas treat.

There’s no end of reasons to visit this renowned historical opera house in the heart of Lisbon and you surely won’t be disappointed if you do.

2. Teatro Diogo Bernardes, Ponte de Lima

The Diogo Bernardes theatre / Google Maps
The Diogo Bernardes theatre / Google Maps

The Diogo Bernardes Theatre in the town of Ponte de Lima in the northern Portuguese district of Viana do Castelo is probably Portugal’s second most important opera house after the São Carlos, being opened almost 100 years after the one in Lisbon. It stands proud on Ponte de Lima’s Rua Agostinho José Taveira, near the Terceiros Museum and the Villa Morais Palace, facing the river Limia.

This small theatre plays host to a wide variety of performances and installations, from plays and jazz concerts to art exhibitions and rock music, all of which is coming up in September 2018. The roster of events is updated every month, so keep a close eye on developments online!

3. São João National Theatre, Porto

Porto's Teatro Nacional São João / Wikipedia
Porto's Teatro Nacional São João / Wikipedia

In the historical old town of the city of Porto, is Portugal’s third opera house, the São João Theatre. Situated in the Praça da Batalha square, just behind the Porto São Bento train station, the theatre is in an easily accessible and central location.

While it is mainly used for plays and concerts, there are occasional operas put on here. The star performance this autumn, between 28th September and 13th October 2018, is a production of Shakespeare’s Othello, which comes complete with English subtitles. This performance acts as the inspiration for many other activities organised by the theatre throughout the year, from chats about the play’s themes to interactive workshops.

The theatre even has its own Educational Centre for children which includes a childcare playschool for the little one and drama workshops for slightly older kids. Then there is São Bento da Vitória Monastery, a separate building which falls under the museum’s custodianship and which also hosts various classical concerts and other events throughout the year.

While the variety of operatic shows may not be the greatest in Portugal, what there is is made that much more special for it. With such exciting events happening in 2018, you can’t afford not to visit at least one of these fantastic opera houses in Portugal.

Find property on idealista

Ready to find the house of your dreams?

Ready to find the house of your dreams?

Find houses for sale and long term rentals on idealista