Son Amar Behind the Scenes

So I’ve been wanting to share my experience at Mallorca’s Son Amar show since last year but I have been putting it off due to the fact that I don’t have any stunning photos to add to the post.

You see, when I went to Son Amar I was under the impression that photography was strictly prohibited. Then I was told when I got there that they would have allowed me to take photos, but of course then I didn’t have my camera…

Anyway…

I’ve decided to suck it up and just borrow this stunning image from Click-Mallorca of the majestic horse on the stage. And I might treat you to a grainy iphone shot further down.

son amar behind the scenes

In this post I am going to tell you about the amazing VIP experience that Son Amar offers, complete with backstage tour and the best seats in the house. I’m not here to tell you that Son Amar is the best show on the island (that’s debatable anyway this year) nor what it consists of blow by blow.

But, just in case you are reading this because you were looking for things to do in Mallorca rather than searching for the perfect VIP evening out, I will give you a brief idea of what Son Amar is:

What is Son Amar?

Son Amar is a show and a venue in Mallorca, set in the Tramuntana foothills near Bunyola, just outside Palma. (click for location)

Son Amar: The Venue

The building is a 16th century Mallorcan possessió (Manor House) that has been converted into a spectacular theatre. Just on arrival, strolling up the new paved walkway through elegant grounds and into the perfectly preserved courtyard to be greeted by a knight on an elegant white horse, you are already blown away by the elegance and uniqueness.

It’s all very elegant.

Of course, a few years ago you would have then reached an interior garden where they used to do a beautiful water fountain display as a finale to the show and a way to get people out of the theatre.

You might know that then some bright mind had the greedy idea of building a modern concrete eyesore in this space and doing a Medieval jousting show with horses in the arena inside. This idea (obviously) fell flat on its face and came close to bankrupting the business and left a seriously ugly mar on the once picture-perfect Son Amar venue.

However, they are currently looking at turning part of this area into a wedding garden and might be able to host weddings and other ceremonies here in the near future.

Once inside the main building, you are in a very pleasant foyer / lounge area, which is the ante-chamber to the theatre.

Then it’s into the theatre itself and to your table. The magnificent stage dominates the whole room, with screens at either side and a runway going through the audience.

Son Amar: The Show

Son Amar is and always has been a cabaret show. Its quality has been up and (mostly) down in recent years compared to the good old Son Amar days that everyone speaks of wistfully when presented with the new show.

However, over the last few seasons, the standard has been more consistent and has been a great improvement on say four or five years ago. (I still say bring back Mike Pidone! But hey, what do I know?)

The show now starts with singer Rosa de Lima and another singer (who might or might not have been a Drifter) who do international warm-up songs to get the audience in the mood.

Son Amar VIP Experience

Son Amar warm-up act

Then when all the dishes have been cleared away, the lights go down and the show really starts. The credits are shown to oohs and aahs in what is one of the best laser-light shows in Europe, and personally one of my favourite parts of the show.

Then the performers come on and the audience is treated to a show of Spanish dancing, a magician, a contortionist, modern dancing based on musicals, acrobatics, a comedian, a gangnam style LED light performance and, this year, back by… no, it can’t be popular demand, it just can’t… the flying dancers.

As you know, the (opinionated) opinions on this blog are mine and mine only, regardless of whether I have paid to see a show or stay at a hotel or eat at a restaurant or whether I have been invited by the establishment. Proof here.  

And personally I thought that the Son Amar show this year when I saw it in May was not as good as I was expecting and nor was it as good as the previous year. The people at my table agreed and we also decided that all the hype about how this year’s show would be the best yet probably contributed to the let-down.

You can decide for yourself by either going to see the show or checking out this promotional video.

My Son Amar VIP Experience

However, I’m not here to discuss this year’s show – it changes every year, so by the time you actually go to see it it could be a whole different line-up.

But what I will say is if you go to see the Son Amar show at all, then go VIP. There is no other way to experience Son Amar in my opinion. There are people that go to see the Son Amar show every year without fail as part of their holidays in Mallorca. I would recommend that rather than go every year and pay for the cheapest seats and meal, go just once every three years and pay the top whack for the VIP experience.

Ticket info here.

It is absolutely 100% worth it.

When I did the VIP Son Amar option last year, I went with Toni and my parents. We were greeted on arrival with handshakes and a warm welcome. We were seated in the VIP lounge in the foyer and we were brought champagne. There was a pianist to entertain us as we chatted among ourselves and watched other people (read the riff-raff!) being shown into the theatre to their seats.

The Backstage Tour at Son Amar

Then we were taken through the theatre to the backstage area, where we were given a backstage tour just for us.

This tour took place right before the show started so there were stage managers running around organising people, the costume lady repairing last minute sequins, performers limbering up and spotlights being flicked on and off in a final check. It was quite fascinating to watch as well as listening to the information we were being told.

Most unique costume collection in Europe?

We started out in the quick-change area where performers hurriedly switch costumes in between scenes. It is pitch black, to ensure that no light escapes onto the stage.

We were shown costumes that were already prepared to be used in that night’s performance.

We marvelled at the genuine bullfighter jackets used by the matador in the flamenco section. These jackets are the real deal and were bought in Seville for 1000€ each. Son Amar has five.

We were delighted with the genuine bullfighter’s cape (you know it is genuine when it stands up on its own like a cone instead of crumpling to the floor when you drop it).

And we gasped at the ridiculously heavy state-of-the-art LED costumes used by the strange futuristic gangnam style robots and we learnt just how sensitive and temperamental these LED lights are: even if they have just been checked and had the batteries replaced, they still might not work properly ten minutes later during the show.

Palma or Bunyola?

Next we were shown where the band sets up (they were already there). Son Amar has had a live band for 51 years! And we were shown how the lights work. Oh, and just how many lights and how many different kinds of lights? Apparently, the old-style spotlights are so powerful that they would turn the audience to toast if they had them on all the time. You could light a cigarette off one.  

Son Amar VIP Experience

Son Amar lasers in use

These old spotlights are apparently much better than the new LED lights, but not as cost effective: one bulb costs 200€. Each light has 30 mirrors and Son Amar employs one technician just to clean and maintain these lights. These particular lights are the Rolls Royce of lights and are hand made. They are only found at Son Amar and at the Lido in Paris.

As this was being told to us, we were standing centre stage with the audience just feet away at the other side of the majestic curtain and a blinding spotlight was switched on to show us, almost sending us stumbling back through the last of the seven curtains. Yes, seven curtains!

When the spotlight was on us it was like someone had switched on the heating.

They showed us the water fountains set into the stage, which are used as a background feature during some of the acts. These date from the 70s but were covered up and weren’t used again until 2012.

And then we were whisked off stage-left before the compare was to appear. Except at Son Amar it’s not called stage left. Or stage right. Apparently someone back in the day couldn’t get his head around which was stage left and stage right and so they called the wings Palma and Bunyola! I guess if someone told you to go to Manacor you’d find yourself in the audience.

We greeted a few of the cast members that were in a small studio laughing, chatting and limbering up and then we were taken back out to the theatre to be seated at the best table in the house and to be served a wonderful meal with wine.

Enjoying the show as a VIP at Son Amar

All the treatment during the build-up, together with the backstage tour totally make it worthwhile opting for the VIP experience at Son Amar, but the real highlight is the table you’re assigned for the show.

I’ve seen Son Amar a million times: back in the good old days, during the what-the-hell-are-they-doing days and now. But I have never had such a spectacular view or felt so engaged in the show as on this occasion when we sat at the VIP table.

Our table was behind the Platinum seats which are at the front. Ours were raised up by the walkway which the actors and dancers use. We were right on the same level as the stage. It was a huge half-moon table slap bang in the middle of the whole theatre.

There was a part of the walkway that could be raised up to form an elevated platform, and that was part of our table! The whole show was directed at our table like we were the only ones in the room. Even if you’ve seen Son Amar before, watching the show from this table is like watching it for the very first time.

Son Amar VIP Experience. Son Amar VIP Experience The Son Amar violinist practically standing on our table!

VIP Dinner at Son Amar

Let’s be honest, the food at Son Amar on the basic menu option is pretty naff. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good value considering what’s included for the ticket price, but that watery salad that we had last time with teeth-breaking croutons and brown-round-the-edges lettuce is really old fashioned and frankly disgusting (though if I’m not mistaken they have removed the Caesar salad starter and replaced it with vegetable quiche).

On the other hand, book the VIP option and once again be pleasantly surprised with a choice of three or four appealing dishes prepared, not for the masses, but for just you. There was a choice between fresh seabass, fillet mignon and a couple of other options. I can’t remember what each person had but we were all pleased.

There were a few starters to choose from as well and there was even a choice for dessert. Wine, water and champagne were all included too.

Combine this hearty, fulfilling meal, excellent service during the entire evening and a table with the best view in the house and you have a very memorable and enjoyable evening out, and considering all that is included, it’s very good value for money as well.

What are you waiting for? Book now.

Have you seen Son Amar before? What did you think?

Filed Under: featuredFive Star TravelmallorcaNo Frills Excursions MallorcaPalmaspain

About the Author: Lisa, born and grew up in England, live in Mallorca, Spain... Have visited more than 20 countries, have twice as many to yet visit, love sharing experiences....

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