- Associated Press - Thursday, February 2, 2012

MADRID (AP) - Barcelona’s renowned Liceu opera house says it must cancel shows and close its doors for two months because of the economic crisis hitting Spain.

The theater says in a statement it is running a deficit of euro3.7 million ($4.87 million) following cutbacks in government subsidies and a drop in sponsorship.

The theater will cancel 27 performances of seven shows between March 20-April 10 and June 5-July 8.

A spokeswoman for the theater said Thursday the decision will mean temporary layoffs among many of the theater’s 395 workers. She spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with the theater’s regulations.

The theater says ticket-holders will be reimbursed.

The Liceu delayed the opening of its 2011-2012 season by a month for similar reasons.

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