angle-left A lively performing arts stage

For classical theatre and opera connoisseurs and for people who are interested in the latest music trends, there are venues in the capital of Bizkaia that host a range of theatre and musical performances. Let the show begin!

The Arriaga Theatre, named after the composer Juan Crisóstomo de Arriaga, is a majestic building in the Arenal. Its tragic history includes two fires, the flood of 1983, and the argument the members of Sociedad Nuevo Teatro de Bilbao got involved in. Anyway, in 1990, the Arriaga Theatre turned 100. It hosts classical and contemporary theatre plays, concerts, conferences and different types of shows.

The building of the Campos Elíseos Theatre, aka ‘La Bombonera’ (The Chocolate Box), has been named an Asset of Cultural Interest. Renovated in 2010, the building recovered its Modernist style and added updated technologies. The Campos Elíseos puts on plays by Basque and international artists.

La Fundición (nearby Botica Vieja) is devoted to contemporary creations. Pabellón 6, managed by a team of Basque performers in Zorrotzaurre, reaffirms the value of teamwork in the performing arts. Its 200 members/supporters have purchased each an ‘imaginary seat’. Plus, Bilbao is home to the Basque Classical Theatre Institute Skené, organiser of the Euskadi Ancient Greek and Roman Theatre Festival.

High C in vocal music

In Bizkaia, we feel passion for opera, especially those of us who are members of the Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera. It is an association of friends of opera that stages different styles of opera for all ages and interests.
The Campos Elíseos has always bet on Basque opera. The efforts made by the Arriaga are also worth mentioning, in particular projects like Opera Txiki, aimed at promoting opera among the little ones.

Asociación Bilbaína de Amigos de la Ópera (ABAO/OLBE) offers great operas at reasonable prices through the Opera Berria initiative. It has a loyal audience of 90,000 who value the excellence of the around 50 performances a year.
ABAO’s favourite composer is Giuseppe Verdi. There is even a ‘Tutto Verdi’ opera cycle in Bilbao. Furthermore, a Verdi Week is held in cooperation with the University of Deusto.

The renowned ABAO association encourages an interest in opera among young people. With Abao Txiki, for instance, it offers five operas for the whole family seeking to promote culture and instil moral values in children. Last but not least, ABAO carries out fun cultural activities in around 180 schools a year.

How To Get There

  • Our theatre scene is remarkably diverse. So much so that you are likely to find a concert or opera that you will want to attend. Some shows are so successful that tickets sell out fast. Book your tickets in advance, especially to concerts or plays everybody wants to attend. Find our theatres’ contact information below:

    Teatro Arriaga 
    Plaza Arriaga,1 48005 Bilbao
    Phone number: 944 792 036 / E-mail

    Teatro Campos Elíseos 
    c/ Bertendona, 3 Bis, 4. 48008 Bilbao
    Phone number: 94 443 86 10 
    / 94 443 86 41

    ABAO/OLBE
    Jose Maria Olavarri, 2-4 bajo. 48001 Bilbao
    Phone number: 944 355 100 / E-mail address

    Pabellón 6 
    c/ Ribera de Deusto, 47 - 48014 Bilbao (Note: closed to pedestrians. Please enter through the path next to Palacio Madaleno, across Plaza Eugenio Olabarrieta).
    Information and booking: 639 766 720 (phone calls and Whatsapp)
    E-mail address 

    • Timetable

      Information office hours
      Monday-Friday, 11:00am to 2:00pm and 5:00 to 8:00pm (Closed in July and holidays)

      Languages: Basque, Spanish, English
      Hours:
      Saturday and Sunday, 11:00am to 1:00pm
      50min tour
      Places are limited to a maximum of 30
       

    • Price

      Teatro Arriaga
      Adults: €5
      Visitors with disabilities: €3
      Ages 18 and under, accompanied by an adult (max. two tickets per adult) and students ages 25 and under: free admission (free tickets are collected until all places are taken)

    • Location

      Bilbao