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‘What a sad day it was in Granada. The stones began to cry.’  

Ainadamar, Arabic for ‘Fountain of Tears’, is the ancient well near Granada where the Spanish poet and playwright Federico García Lorca – labelled by the Falangist militia as a ‘homosexual socialist’ – was brutally executed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War.

Golijov’s twice-Grammy-winning opera reimagines Lorca’s life through a flashback of memories by his muse and collaborator, the actress Margarita Xirgu, now in her final moments in 1969 Uruguay, as she seeks to pass her generation’s hopes and passion on to her student, Nuria.

Ainadamar promises a spine-tingling spectacle from the Olivier-winning star choreographer Deborah Colker (Rio 2016 Olympics Ceremony; Cirque du Soleil) in her much-anticipated operatic debut in the director’s seat.

The result is a dazzling kaleidoscope of music, dance, and theatre where flamenco meets opera through traditional Spanish singing and sumptuous operatic numbers, all interspersed with rhythmic, sonic, and poetic outbursts. Ainadamar invites you to experience opera like never before.

Sung in Spanish, with surtitles in English.

Find out more about the Cast and Creatives of Ainadamar here.


Tickets from £26

Prices and discounts subject to change

Running Time

Approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes


Main House

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7 Nov
7.30pm From: £26 Book Now
Discounts & Concessions


WNO Multi-buy package

Book tickets to see Ainadamar and La traviata and save 10% when purchasing tickets at the same time. Available in bands A – C and on full price tickets only.

Book tickets to see Ainadamar, Death in VeniceCosì fan tutte and La traviata and save 15% when booking 3 operas, or save 20% when booking 4 operas. Tickets must be purchased at the same time and are available on full price tickets in price bands A – C only.


£5 tickets when accompanied by a full paying adult, price bands A-D
Offer not available online, please call 0844 338 5000† to book

OVER 65s

£3 off price band A, £4 off price bands A-D
Limited availability


Price bands A – D
8+ tickets – Save £3 per ticket
16+ tickets – Save £4 per ticket
24+ tickets – Save £5 per ticket plus 1 FREE ticket

Call our dedicated Group Sales Team on 0844 338 7000 or
email for more information and to book now!

CLICK HERE for further information on Group Bookings


Parties of 10 or more pay £17 per ticket plus 1 FREE ticket for teacher/supervising adult for every 10 booked (Price bands C-E).

For school bookings, please call Group Sales on 0844 338 7000* for more information and to book now!


24 hours prior to a performance, best available seats for the lowest price, maximum 2 per booker, subject to availability

CLICK HERE for further information on our Standby Rate and our On the Day Postcode Scheme for Birmingham residents living in B6, B9, B10, B11 and B21


£5 off standard price tickets in all seating areas.
2-for-1 for disabled patrons who require the service/support of a companion.
CLICK HERE for more information on our Access Performances


Discounts and Concessions are offered subject to availability at the discretion of the Information and Sales Manager. Top three price bands only, unless otherwise stated. Restrictions may apply. Only one discount per ticket may apply, unless otherwise stated. Offers are non retrospective and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Valid ID must be presented where applicable

Food & Drink

The Circle Lounge

Our newly refurbished, stylish space is the perfect place for pre-show dining. Join us for Afternoon Tea or in the evening for a menu of sharing platters, small plates and sweet treats all inspired by the Mediterranean.

The Proscenium Lounge

Add some VIP sparkle to your Hippodrome experience with a Diamond or Champagne package in our luxurious lounge.

The Coffee Bar

Our Coffee Bar is open all day for Quarter Horse barista coffee and a quick and tasty bite to eat.

The Kiosks

You’ll find kiosks in the foyers selling a range of confectionery, Marshfield ice creams (which can also be pre-ordered) and chilled soft drinks as well as the current show programme.



What a sad day it was in Granada; the stones began to cry…

Ainadamar is an Arabic word meaning ‘fountain of tears’. It is one of the names of a natural spring located in the hills above the Andalusian city of Granada in southern Spain. This is where the poet and playwright Federico García Lorca was murdered in 1936.

Margarita Xirgu, a leading Spanish actress and Lorca’s friend and artistic collaborator, spent her career portraying Mariana Pineda in Lorca’s titular play. Pineda was a 19th-century political martyr executed for sewing a revolutionary flag against the absolutist Spanish regime with the embroidered slogan ‘Equality, Freedom and Law’. The play Mariana Pineda was Lorca’s first theatrical success and a love letter to a woman who pursues her convictions to their ultimate consequences and evoked the colour and poetry of Andalusia and especially Lorca’s own Granada. Lorca asked Xirgu to take the role of Pineda at the play’s premiere in June 1927, at the Teatre Goya in Barcelona with scenery and costumes designed by Lorca’s close friend, the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí.

Xirgu fled Spain at the beginning of the Civil War, but Lorca refused to leave with her. His liberal beliefs and open homosexuality subsequently led to his death at the hands of the fascist Falange group, founded by the son of former dictator General Primo de Rivera.

Xirgu dedicated the rest of her life to playing Mariana Pineda and to keeping Lorca’s words and legacy alive.


Ainadamar is told through Margarita Xirgu’s memories in a series of flashbacks, as the past invades the present.

As the opera begins, Margarita prepares once again to go on stage as Mariana Pineda while a group of young actors sing the opening ballad. She remembers the brilliance of Lorca to her young student Nuria, recalling her meeting with Lorca in a Madrid bar when he describes the play to her for the first time. Lorca idolised Pineda, whose statue could be seen from his bedroom at the family home in Granada. The flashback is interrupted by the fascist Falangist Ramon Ruiz Alonso, broadcasting over the state radio that his party will stamp out any stirrings of revolution.

The Spanish Civil War has begun. Margarita pleads with Lorca to join her theatre company in Cuba, but he refuses and remains in Granada. Margarita blames herself for Lorca’s fate, since she could not convince her idealistic young friend to abandon Spain. In Margarita’s memories, she sings of her dream of finding freedom in Cuba, but Lorca insists that he must witness and write about his country’s suffering on the barricades.

Margarita Xirgu is dying. In the present, she insists on performing Pineda’s story once more – she tells Nuria that an actor lives only for a moment, but the idea of freedom will never die. A vision of Lorca interrupts her. He thanks Margarita for immortalising his spirit on the stage, in the hearts of her students, and for the world.


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