The Liceu management is still working on
the precise use of the large space located below the main foyer, which it is hoped will be
converted into a meeting place permanently open to opera lovers and to the entire public.
This space will have a surface area of about a thousand square metres to which access will
be gained from the corner of La Rambla and Carrer Uniķ. Here, during the first few months
of 2000, it is planned to install all the complementary services that will constitute the
basis of the theatres communication policy and the key to the Liceus programme
to attract the public.
The most important services will be the Liceu Café, the museum (one
part of which will be fixed and the other modifiable, depending on the works programmed),
the media centre with the theatres audio-visual resources and a shop specialising in
opera records and publications, which it is hoped will become an essential point of
reference for music-lovers. In the words of Josep Tardā, marketing director of the Liceu:
"We hope that this will be a very attractive meeting place, which will attract
everyone, not just opera fans, to come in and learn about the opera world."
This space, which will be connected with the great foyer, will be
located under the main floor of the auditorium and will be the venue for alternative
performances such as late concerts, recitals and educational activities. Furthermore,
commencing with the next season, conferences will be given introducing the programmed
The general director of the opera house, Josep Caminal, considers that
in order to be successful in attracting a loyal public, the problem of night public
transport must be resolved and the selection of restaurants should be defined, "a
matter which", according to him, "no theatre has fully resolved". "For
the present, various minimum services have been provided for: a buffet service in the
foyer area at the end of performances, trays of savoury snacks in the entractes, a
glass of cava in the Mirrors Salon, refreshments and sandwiches in the Liceu Café
and in the bars under the public area in the foyer and in the fourth floor.
Josep Caminal assures that the new spaces open to the public are
sufficiently attractive for the users of the boxes to abandon the former custom of staying
there during the entractes. "In this respect, the new Liceu is completely
unlike the old Liceu", says the general director. "Gone is the attraction of
staying in the box area because, without any doubt, everybody will want to stroll through
the foyer, the museum or the Mirrors Salon." In any event, even the nostalgic will
not have many alternatives, since one part of the boxes has been done away with and the
other has been cut down considerably.