Lisbon's opera house has been hard hit by the economic crisis that has led to cuts in the number of performances and delays in fixing the program for 2014. Yet if you get the chance to catch a concert or an opera at this wonderful 18th-Century theater don't miss it. Built after the earthquake that destroyed much of Lisbon in 1755 and inspired by Italian opera houses like Milan's Scala and the San Carlos in Naples, the São Carlos is like a giant jewelery box. The main theater has five rows of boxes rising high over the stage and surrounding a royal box framed by golden statues and draped in crimson velvet. Crystal chandeliers cast a shimmering light over the auditorium as well as the sumptuous bar and lobby. Portugal's royal family liked it so much they had a copy made in Rio de Janeiro when they fled to Brazil to avoid Napoleon. The theater has a policy of supporting young talent like Chinese conductor Yi-Chen Lin who scored a triumph early in 2014 with Rossini's opera "Il Viaggio a Reims." Hopefully the economic situation will ensure there are more such successes through the year.
Teatro Nacional de São Carlos
Rua Serpa Pinto 9
Our Rating Neighborhood Chiado Transportation Metro: Baixa-Chiado, tram: 28E Phone 21/325-3045 Web site Teatro Nacional de São Carlos
MapRua Serpa Pinto 9 Lisbon
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