The Teatro Real is considered the leading institution of the performing arts in Spain, the foremost national opera house and one of the most important Spanish cultural institutions. The theatre also enjoys significant international prestige.



The artistic project behind the Teatro Real has led to its current position as one of the main international opera centres and a benchmark for Spanish cultural institutions. Its artistic programme seeks excellence, with an interest in both traditional repertory and contemporary forms, including 20th-century music and the newest avant-garde, with a firm commitment to providing the public with a place where they can discover the best artists and creators of today. It also pays special attention to new audiences, and to popularising opera among children and young people.

All of this, plus the excellence of its titular Chorus and Orchestra, the use of the most innovative technologies and its across-the –board production of shows of the highest artistic quality, have brought great prestige  to El Real in Spain and abroad.

The Teatro Real Foundation is chaired by the King and Queen of Spain. It relies on two public administrations that took part in its creation: the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, and the Comunidad de Madrid (Regional Government of Madrid). The Foundation is governed by a Board of 31 trustees. The Board of Trustees elects the President of Board and the Executive Commission as proposed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. The Foundation is a public entity and there is an important role played by civil society in its governance and sponsorship. 

The Teatro Real abides by a self-governing, permanent and professional management style, in accordance with the most important national cultural institutions.

The Organization chart is as follows:

  • a) The governance of the Teatro Real Foundation is constituted by the Board of Trustees. The President is elected by the Board at the suggestion of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. The President has a term of five years and also presides over the Executive Commission.
  • b) The Management is also a part of the governance. The CEO attends the meetings of the Board of Trustees and Executive Commission, and presides over the Board of Directors. The CEO is responsible for the totality of the organisation of the Teatro Real. The CEO appointment is based on professional qualities and contractual conditions. The Artistic Director is dependent on the CEO, and the Musical Director on the Artistic Director. Both the Artistic and Musical Director have considerable autonomy in decision making.
  • c) The Board of Patrons includes the principal sponsors of the Teatro Real and it is the body of corporate giving. The President is a member of the Executive Commission and attends the meetings of the Board of Trustees. It meets at least twice a year.
  • d) The International Council represents international backing from philanthropists who financially support and project the artistic project of the Teatro Real.
  • e) The Diplomatic Circle includes 13 ambassadors who participate in the activities of the Teatro Real as representatives of the international community: Belgium, Canada, China Columbia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom.
  • f) The Friends of the Real is made up of 25 to 35 "Amigos", philanthropists who provide publicity and financial support to the Teatro Real.  
  • g) The Advisory Council is the counseling body of the Foundation. Its members are prominent citizens in the cultural world and representatives of important cultural institutions.  


From January 2016 to the end of 2018, the Teatro Real celebrated two important anniversaries: 200 years since it was founded in 1818, by order of King Ferdinand VII; and 20 years since its reopening in 1997 after a pioneering, complex architectural restoration which made its stage a benchmark among its peers, both for its sophisticated theatrical technology and for its functionality.

The commemoration of both events was classified as an “event of exceptional public interest” in the 2015 State Budget, in recognition of the historic role of the Teatro Real.

The commemorative programme included an extensive artistic schedule and different institutional initiatives and events publicising the occasion, which among other goals contributed to establishing opera as a centre of culture in Spain, making it accessible to younger audiences, and enhancing the international role of the Teatro Real.

Two main themes were pursued during these three years: broadening the Teatro Real’s repertory of operas, and working to make opera more popular and accessible in Spain, while recovering its heritage.



  • Carmen Alborch Bataller (December 1995 - July 1996)
  • Esperanza Aguirre y Gil de Biedma (July 1996 - January 1999)
  • Mariano Rajoy Brey (January 1999 - June 2000)
  • Pilar del Castillo Vera (June 2000 - April 2004)
  • Carmen Calvo Poyato (April 2004 - July 2007)
  • César Antonio Molina Sánchez (July 2007 - December 2007)
  • Gregorio Marañón y Bertrán de Lis (December 2007 - present)


  • Elena Salgado Méndez, C.E.O. (January 1996 - July 1996)
  • Juan Cambreleng Roca, Executive Director (February 1997 - January 2001)
  • Inés Argüelles Salaverría, Executive Director (January 2001 - September 2004)
  • Miguel Muñiz de las Cuevas, C.E.O. (September 2004 - March 2012)
  • Ignacio García-Belenguer Laita, C.E.O (April 2012 - present)


  • Stephane Lissner, Artistic Director (March 1996 - February 1997)
  • Luis Antonio García Navarro, Artistic and Musical Director (May 1997 - October 2001)
  • Jesús López Cobos, Musical Director (July 2002 - August   2010)
  • Emilio Sagi, Artistic Director (October 2001 - August  2005)
  • Antonio Moral, Artistic Director (September  2005 - August 2010)
  • Gerard Mortier, Artistic and Musical Director (January 2010 - September 2013)
  • Joan Matabosch, Artistic Director  (September  2013 - present)
  • Ivor Bolton, Director Musical (September 2015 - 2020)

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