Betrayal and deceive

“The worst, the better”

With the moto “The worst, the better”, evoking opera’s tragic essence, the launching of Operafest is done under the unifying theme of betrayal and deceive, as tragedy instigators. In the set of Ruínas do Carmo, right in the heart of Lisbon and full of dramaticism, opera Tosca by Giacomo Puccini opens this Festival’s first edition. Betrayal, lust, passion, murder – the great puccinian thriller is presented with an international creatives team and singers cast. Still in Ruínas do Carmo, Lisbon’s premiere of opera The Medium, by Gian-Carlo Menotti, which displays an imposturous medium, promising a spirit session, with all required ingredients.

OPERA IN THE STREET presents the absolute creation of community opera, inspired of Lisbon’s popular neighbourhoods' real life, A Hand of Sueca by Ana Seara, composer in residence, during wich two couples reflect about their deepest desires and worries, influencing real life along the game. This opera will be presented in three different neighbourhoods of city center.

OPERA EXPRESS proposes short operas surprise in an unexpected venue next to you.

OPERA SATELLITE presents performance, conferences, debates which explore this program central theme of  betrayal and deceive, but also the future of this art form, the best way of building up bridges to open up opera to contemporary art world, new formats, or the role of opera singer, has one of opera’s most crucial elements. Singing lessons to amateurs or OPERATIC RAVE,  in which disco music and opera blend in, with operatic happenings, tributes to Nina Hagen, Klaus Nomi, Maria Callas, Mirella Freni and Franco Zeffirelli and the absolute premiere of orgasmic micro-opera Pleasure by Ana Seara, promising a big party with dress code and opera frenzy.

Last but not least, OPERAFEST closes with a contemporary opera contest – MARATONA OPERA XXI, where seven selected operas by young Portuguese composers, are presented in absolute creation, in the Garden of National Museum for Ancient Art and Teatro do Bairro, evaluated by an international jury from different artistic fields, to move way the idea of specialized opera for a niche audience, with the Carlos Pontes de Leça Award  of 5000€, as a new opera commission, to be presented in OPERAFEST future editions.


Welcome to Operafest Lisboa, welcome to the tragic world of opera!