On August 14, 1890, a large concert hall, the new Coliseu dos Recreios, was inaugurated. Various events led to the disappearance of other play houses, so it was urgent to build this new space, erected from scratch in Rua das Portas de Santo Antão and open to the public, still far from the finished works.
With the contribution of foreign artists, the Coliseu dos Recreios was innovative in the introduction of iron architecture, still insipient in Portugal, through the spectacular iron dome, with a radius of 25 meters, coming from Germany, commissioned by the firm Hein Lehmann and C . The roof, also made of iron, was installed in 1889, under the responsibility of engineer Lacombe. The line of the work was due to the engineers Goulard, father and son and the Portuguese Manuel Garcia Júnior; the metallic construction was made by Castanheira das Neves and the decoration by the painter António Machado. Architect Cesare Ianz is the project for the building’s façade, the last completed part, of three floors, with decorative plaster motifs and a few frowns, which give it greater grandeur.
The Coliseu dos Recreios has always assumed itself as a popular concert hall, establishing low prices and presenting shows of various types, among which the opera (a few years before, in 1887, had opened another Coliseum to the public, in Rua da Palma , which also operated opera companies but had a much more ephemeral life). The Coliseum was especially evident in the field of opera during the First Republic, thus constituting an alternative to S. Carlos: in December 1916 a company was launched, organized by Ercole Casali, which included Elvira de Hidalgo and Tito Schipa, and from then on, names like Alfredo Kraus, Antonietta Stella, Carlo Bergonzi, Elena Suliotis, Fiorenza Cossotto, Joan Sutherland, Piero Cappuccilli, Tito Gobbi or Tomás Alcaide sang at the Coliseum. Between 1959 and 1981, lyrical shows started to be organized in collaboration with S. Carlos, offering the possibility to hear some of the great voices that came to Lisbon at affordable prices.
Nowadays, this space hosts several entertainment events such as concerts and great shows.
Check the agenda for incoming events: