The theater, designed by the famous architect Andrea Palladio in 1580, has been miraculously preserved until today, after almost 500 years, and is considered the oldest indoor theater in the world. Along with villas and palaces designed by Palladio, is part of the world heritage protected by UNESCO. The Festival takes place between mid-May and mid-June, one of the few times of year when the theater is open for performances. The Festival is divided into several sections: opera, symphonic and chamber concerts, musicological conferences.
The founders wished to revive the cultural life of a country reemerging after seventeen years of war. The Festival has indeed reached its objective, presenting each year more than thirty performances over a five week period in February and March. With a predominance of chamber music, the Festival also includes opera, orchestral concerts, choral concerts, dance and theatre. The Festival takes special care in presenting each year a rich and homogeneous programme focused around a special theme, celebrating the culture of a country or a city, or exploring a special subject.
Oito24 – is the ingenious name of a festival that takes place between Rua 8 and Rua 20 in Espinho from 08.00 to 24.00. For 3 days in summer, the streets, squares and many shops are given over to artists, performers and designers to create new projects and artistic creations, with strong involvement from the community. This free festival promotes encounters between creators, artists and the public, as well as outdoor film screenings and gourmet activities in the town market.