The Gran Teatre del Liceu is one of Barcelona's gems, and opera has been performed since 1708 here in Catalonia. Generals and troops were the first appreciative audiences, and then the masses bacame enamored with opera.
According to the official website: "The architect commissioned to build the Liceu was Miquel Garriga i Roca. Work began on 11 April 1845 and the opera house opened on 4 April 1847. The building followed the Italian style of opera house, with the auditorium in the shape of a horseshoe, and was able to seat 4,000 people. With its stalls and six floors, it was the largest opera house in Europe of the period.
On 9 April 1861, a fire destroyed the auditorium and stage. Josep Oriol Mestres, who had been an assistant to Miquel Garriga i Roca, was responsible for the reconstruction work, which was carried out in just one year."
In January 1994, the building was yet again destroyed by fire. Public and institutional response was key to the reconstruction of the opera house on the same site, with improved facilities. The new Gran Teatre del Liceu now offers a full season of opera and music with other special events mixed in occasionally.