The Phaserl


Royal Sideshow at Opera House Inflames Spanish/Catalan Tensions

by Don Quijones, Testosterone

When the Prince and Princess of Asturias arrived at Barcelona’s emblematic opera house, the Lyceu, for a midweek performance of “L’Esilir d’Amore,” they were treated to more drama than they had probably bargained for. And what’s more, they were at the centre of it.

It all began when, on alighting from their chauffeur-driven car, they were greeted with boos and hisses from scores of onlookers lining the Ramblas. While such a hostile reception is barely surprising in arguably Spain’s most republican city, what was surprising was that the chorus of catcalls continued, if not intensified, as the royal couple approached their seats in the venue’s royal box.

The mood of discomfort and bewilderment among the royal entourage was palpable as members of Catalonia’s bourgeoisie and intellectual elite threw off their usual caution to vent their anger at the senior figureheads of one of the core institutions of the Spanish state — an institution which, after a year of royal scandal and intrigue, is finally reaping what it’s sown.

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