"Opera and Cycling in Dresden" Dresden by Nemorino

Dresden Travel Guide: 1,345 reviews and 4,037 photos

Performances at the Semper Opera House in Dresden are usually sold out weeks or months in advance. When this happens you will notice because they remove the ticket icon from that performance on their website www.semperoper.de.

Don't give up too quickly though, because a night at the opera in Dresden is a great experience. The interior decoration of the opera house is beautiful, the acoustics are outstanding, the orchestra is good and with any luck you will also get to see and hear some fine singers.

My first trip to Dresden was in January 1998. The performance of Mozart's opera Cosi fan tutte was sold out, so I phoned the hotel I was booked into and asked if they couldn't get tickets for me anyway. They said they would see what they could do, and sure enough, they had two tickets for me (at face value, with no markup) when I arrived.

Unfortunately my colleague from the publishing house got sick that afternoon and couldn't come to the opera. So I took her ticket along and sold it a few minutes before show time to a Korean student who was waiting outside the opera house for someone like me to come along.

My second visit was in September 2004. Verdi's opera Don Carlo (the four-act Italian version) was sold out, so I called the opera house at 03 51 / 4 91 17 05 and after the usual waiting in the loop was connected to a nice woman who asked me how many tickets I needed. I said one, and she said in that case yes. One ticket had just been returned (this can happen when a subscriber swaps dates, as I sometimes have to do in Frankfurt), so I took it and paid by credit card.

So I got to see two operas in Dresden after all, which I was really happy about, and they were fine except that the staging seemed a bit pale compared to what I am used to at other German opera houses. But to be fair I should explain that both Cosi fan tutte and Don Carlo are operas I dearly love and have often seen in elsewhere. And at an opera house like Dresden (or Vienna, for instance) with a large percentage of tourists in the audience you can't really expect a lot of innovative staging, because that isn't what their audience wants.

In September 2008 I was sent to Dresden once again to do a teachers' workshop, and I took the opportunity to go to the opera with two VirtualTourist members, Kathrin_E (Kathrin) and german_eagle (Ingo).

Ingo has posted an album with a nice photo of the three of us in the lobby of the Semper Opera.

I have now added ten new tips (and various updates) to my Dresden page. The new tips are at the beginning of their respective categories: one new Hotel tip, two new Things to Do tips, two new Off the Beaten Path tips, one new Restaurant tip and four new Transportation tips.

In 2004 the Elbe Valley in Dresden was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in the category of a cultural landscape.

A mere five years later, in 2009, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee decided to remove the Elbe Valley from the World Heritage List due to the building of a four-lane bridge in the heart of the cultural landscape, which meant that the area failed to keep its "outstanding universal value as inscribed."

According to UNESCO's website Dresden is only the second property ever to have been removed from the World Heritage List. The first was Oman's Arabian Oryx Sanctuary, which was delisted in 2007.

  • Last visit to Dresden: Sep 2008
  • Intro Updated May 26, 2012
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Reviews (34)

Comments (64)

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    Great page Don! Very informative as usual. Thanks for sharing!

  • IreneMcKay's Profile Photo
    Sep 6, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Dresden is very high up my list of places I want to visit in Germany. It looks interesting from your page. All the best, Irene

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Sep 8, 2013 at 8:31 PM

    The opera house are absolutely beautiful and your tips are always educational. Excellent page Don!

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Sep 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      Thanks, Dee. I'm glad you liked the tips -- and the opera house.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    A great virtual tour Don! Dresden sounds a lovely city to look around.

  • xaver's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    nice tour of this city which any student remembers only for the bombings

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    Yes, you are right, even a VirtualTourist member can go without the internet for a couple of days. I just came back from the highlands of Iceland and didn´t go on-line for a couple of days - it was refreshing ;) A great page on Dresden, thanks for the virtual tour, it makes me sad thinking about what happened there during WW2.

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Jun 1, 2012 at 1:08 AM

    Going to the opera, the pub and to brunch sounds to be nice activities for a VT-meeting, but to wait an hour for the brunch is absolutly too much. The stage curtain at the opera house looks beautiful.

  • CatherineReichardt's Profile Photo
    Apr 2, 2012 at 5:00 AM

    Hi Don
    As ever, thanks for the 'virtual tour'! This is one of the corners of Germany that I have yet to explore, so I was curious to discover a little more about its history.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Apr 21, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Great page! Ah!! GDR architecture!!

  • kris-t's Profile Photo
    Jan 14, 2011 at 5:03 PM

    Yep... they definitely did not stand on ceremony with Cromwell... Great Dresden page! Love Kurt Vonnegut too.


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