From Rosauro Varo to Mario Vargas Llosa: who’s who on the Royal Theater Board of Trustees

This Saturday, the Kings enjoyed a pleasant night at the opera. ‘Parténope’, the well-known comic opera by Georg Friedrich Händel, was premiered and after the sudden cancellation of their attendance at the opening of the season at the beginning of October (they had to travel to La Palma), one of their most emblematic acts, they had an appointment with the Royal Theater Board last night.

A board of trustees that they preside in an honorary way -the president-elect is Gregorio Marañón and Bertrán de Lis- and in which well-known names of businessmen, politicians, and former politicians abound among the almost 40 members that make it up.

Rosauro Varo, Amaia Salamanca, Fernando Fitz-James and Fernando M. de Irujo have a drink after a premiere at Real. (Gtres)

Divided between born patrons, patrons (the only ones with the right to vote) and honorary patrons, their ranks include names as recognizable as Rosauro Varo, Mario Vargas Llosa, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón or Andrea Levy. We break down the complete list.


Many are the politicians who each premiere meet in the groups that form in the entrance hall of the imposing building that houses the Real. Between its columns, it is not uncommon to see share ideas and impressions to politicians of different political backgrounds without any hint of the tension that they exchange from the seats of Congress or any media platform.

Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, upon arrival at the Teatro Real. (EFE / Juanjo Martín)

However, not all hold a position at the table of patrons of the lyrical patriotic temple par excellence. Among the born employers, with a chair dependent on their public position, there are, how could it be otherwise, Miquel Iceta (last to join) for being the new Minister of Culture and Sports; the president of the Community, Isabel Díaz Ayuso, and the mayor José Luis Martínez-Almeida, among others.

The name of the writer also stands out in this group Marta Rivera de la Cruz, also Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports of the Community of Madrid and one of the essentials in each opera premiere.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia, accompanied by former Vice President of the Government Carmen Calvo, Meritxell Batet and other personalities. (EFE / José Jiménez)

However, the presence of this group does not end here. Andrea Levy, delegate of Culture of the Madrid City Council, is a full patron, as well as the former minister Elena Salgado placeholder image.

Other former politicians also appear among the employers, this time, of course, on the honorific list. Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón (great music lover), Hope Aguirre and Carmen Calvo they complete the compendium of names.

Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón and Esperanza Aguirre, upon arrival at the Teatro Real. (EFE)


Not everything is political. In fact, there are almost as many representatives of the big companies of the Ibex as of the other sectors of the public life. Among them, in addition to the striking name of Rosauro Varo, a new member of the Board of Directors of Acciona (and husband of the actress Amaia Salamanca), also stand out José María Álvarez-Pallete, president of Telefonica; Antonio Brufau, President of Repsol, Isidro Fainé (La Caixa) or Florentino Pérez, among other relevant names on the Spanish business scene. All of them participate in the decisions that carry the right to vote, although it is rare to see them enjoying their seats at the flashy premieres.

Mario Vargas Llosa and his partner Isabel Preysler, upon their arrival from the Teatro Real. (EFE / Kiko Huesca)

Although perhaps the best known of all is one of the names that we cannot categorize in either of these two lists. Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel laureate and one of the great patrons of culture in the world, he has always become that he has attended the Royal Theater in the focus of all eyes mainly thanks to his companion. Perhaps the most photographed woman in Spain. The writer is partner for more than five years of Isabel Preysler, so his presence at the opera is now more welcomed than ever by the photojournalists who always cover these types of premieres.

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From Rosauro Varo to Mario Vargas Llosa: who’s who on the Royal Theater Board of Trustees