Building

Building

Construction with a classical tendency. 1662

The architecture of the building is included in the classical tendency of the XIXth century, also known as "classical revival" and it is situated on the old ground of the Casa de las Comedias, inaugurated in 1662 and demolished in 1854.

The Casa de las Comedias had a basically rectangular plan, three floors and four storeys of boxes, with hall and stage. It had a lobby, a café, corridors, access stairs to the different levels and some storage rooms. It followed the "corral" model, as opposed to the curved shape adopted in most of Europe. In 1788, an arched portico was built on the façade, on which a terrace rested.

The new theatre was built between 1854 and 1857 under the direction of Antonio Sureda y Villalonga. During the reconstruction works, performances were carried out in the Círculo Mallorquí. In 1857, the French stage designer Felix Cagé (1820-1869) arrives in Majorca to decorate the theatre, which was inaugurated on November 19th.

Seven months after the inauguration, during the night of June 11th, 1858, a fire destroyed the building and left only the façade and a part of the lobby standing. The restoration begun immediately, by the same authors and following the same criteria, and the building was re-inaugurated in September 1860 during the visit of Queen Elisabeth II to Majorca. Since the Revolution of 1868, the place will definitely be known as the Teatro Principal.

Extension of the building. 1854

This new reconstruction extended the area through the acquisition of a neighbouring property in 1854 by the stage.

The resulting structure followed the usual structure for this type of buildings at the time: semicircular plan and two storeys. The façade was articulated in three parts. The central part is more important for its decorative elements. It consists of three floors with a triangular frontal in the style of classical ancient temples, decorated with reliefs of mythological themes, the seven muses, by Ricard Anckermann. The lower floor has three arcades with semicircular arches. The first floor has a row of eight Ionic columns and the second floor one of Corinthian columns.

A highlight of the interior is the pictorial decoration of the ceiling, by Felix Cagé, which represents god Helios on a chariot pulled by white horses, surrounded by allegorical theatrical, musical and dance representations.

The plan of the hall has a near-horse-shoe shape. The stage is quadrangular and the ceiling of the hall was made slightly curved for acoustic reasons. There are for storeys of boxes, including the ones in the stalls, which surround the seat area and have decorative reliefs. The seat area is inclined towards the stage to improve the visuality and the acoustics.

Latest alterations. 2007

The last remodelling of the Teatro Principal begun in 2002 and was assigned to architect Felipe Delgado Laguna. The project, which concluded in 2007, was focused on adapting the premises to the current needs providing them with the latest technological advances.

The result of this extension is a totally neutral outside metal structure, and inside a higher stage (from 14 to 23 meters). The restored hall preserves its appearance of the past.