The Mirpuri Foundation funded the clean-up and restoration of the façade of what is a major national heritage landmark in Portugal.

Inaugurated in 1793, and located at the heart of Lisbon’s historical center, the São Carlos Opera House is currently the only theatre devoted to the production and presentation of 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 as 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, while also serving as a venue for meetings, conferences, exhibitions, courses and other cultural proposals that convey to publics of different ages the history of opera, its great composers and the theatre.


The process:

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

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 support for cleaning, 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, oxidized ironworks and aging plaster and other materials.    

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


The end result:

The intervention was concluded on April 18th, International Day for Monuments and Sites, and 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 the conservation and rehabilitation of 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 center stage for some of the greatest operatic, ballet, choral and symphonic performances of both national and international repertoire. With a truly 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.