On the day that São Carlos Opera House commemorated 230 years of existence, the Mirpuri Foundation had the honour to inaugurate the placement of the patronage board that commemorates the support and this action by the Foundation for this Theatre.

The Mirpuri Foundation funded the clean-up and restoration of the façade of this significant national heritage landmark in Portugal.

Inaugurated in 1793 and located at the heart of Lisbon’s historical centre, the São Carlos Opera House is the only theatre devoted to producing and presenting opera, choral and symphonic music. The work of architect José da Costa e Silva is inspired by the great theatres of Renaissance Italy and is covered in neoclassical elements. The theatre was classified as a building of public interest in 1928 and a National Monument in 1996.

In addition to the building’s cultural value and architectural beauty, the São Carlos Opera House is a living house of music and culture with a diversified and high-quality program. The institution, managed by OPART, celebrates the performing arts by presenting concerts and ballets. It also serves as a venue for meetings, conferences, exhibitions, courses and other cultural proposals that convey to the public of different ages the history of opera, its great composers and the theatre.

Paulo Mirpuri, President of Mirpuri Foundation: The Mirpuri Foundation’s patronage of the National Theater of São Carlos is, perhaps, one of our reference works in the panorama of the Portuguese museum’s support. This theatre is one of the last examples of this kind of architecture in Europe that maintains the original design. For the Mirpuri Foundation, it’s a great pleasure today, since we celebrate 230 years from the inauguration of this magnificent theatre, to symbolically inaugurate the placement of the patronage board that commemorates the support and this action by the Foundation for this Theatre.

President of OPART, Conceição Amaral: This partnership between the São Carlos/OPART Institution and the Mirpuri Foundation was unforgettable. Blue has returned to its origins since São Carlos was blue at the end of the 18th century.  I believe supporting institutions through restoration is one of the most extraordinary things for the Society and its patrons.

Elisabete Matos, Former Artistic Director of São Carlos: We are incredibly grateful because now we have a beautiful facade with the original colour again. The restoration of the Theater facade was essential, recovering its actual colour, and this was only possible thanks to the support of the Mirpuri Foundation.

The process:

Works to clean, conserve and requalify the principal façade of the São Carlos National Theatre started in October 2020. The Mirpuri Foundation, the OPART partner, drove the intervention.

In 2018, the Organism for Artistic Production, E.P.E. (OPART) and the Mirpuri Foundation celebrated a Collaboration Protocol which contemplated, in addition to other initiatives, the cleaning support, conserving and restoring the principal façade of the São Carlos National Theatre.

Corrective and preventive works were carried out to resolve problems detected resulting from the building’s exposure to environmental factors, lack of maintenance and human intervention.

The diagnostic carried out by specialists, in strict cooperation with the Cultural Heritage General Directorate, enabled them to identify the need to correct the following: accumulated soiling and staining, fissures in the arcade vault, broken or eroded stone surfaces in certain zones, damaged wooden frames, oxidised ironworks and ageing plaster and other materials.   

The intervention works, broken down into three phases – cleaning, conservation and requalification –to return the building’s façade to its healthy, robust and dignified state.


The result:

The intervention was concluded on April 18th, International Day for Monuments and Sites. It brought the National Monument to its original colour, blue, in a groundbreaking requalification to support and dignify culture.

The intervention would not have been possible without the Mirpuri Foundation’s support as an Exclusive OPART/TNSC Patron for conserving and rehabilitating the São Carlos National Theatre’s principal façade.

About the São Carlos National Theatre

The São Carlos National Theatre, built according to strict neo-classical characteristics with a strong Italian influence, began construction in 1792 and was inaugurated the following year. Located in the heart of the Chiado quarter, São Carlos has been centre stage for some of the greatest operatic, ballet, choral and symphonic performances of both national and international repertoire. With a genuinely extraordinary past, São Carlos – the only operatic theatre in Portugal – is today a present and vivid genuine cultural institution, loved and respected by all who appreciate the lyric arts, dance and classical music.