"Opera and cycling in Dortmund" Top 5 Page for this destination Dortmund by Nemorino

Dortmund Travel Guide: 149 reviews and 457 photos

Dortmund is one of several large cities in the Ruhr Valley, a former mining and heavy industry region that is now getting itself reoriented and is certainly cleaner than it used to be, though not as prosperous.

My immediate reason for going to Dortmund was that I really wanted to see Katharina Thoma’s highly praised new staging of the opera L’Eliogabalo by the early Baroque Italian composer Francesco Cavalli (1602-1676).

It turned out they were doing Richard Wagner’s opera The Flying Dutchman the night before, so I bought a ticket for that one as well.

Since I had booked the whole trip at short notice and hadn’t even looked at the cast lists, it came as a complete surprise when I got to the Dortmund Opera and discovered that three old acquaintances were singing in these operas. Andreas Macco sang the title role in The Flying Dutchman the first night. Elzbieta Ardam and Tamara Weimerich were both in L’Eliogabalo the second night.

All three of them have often sung at the Frankfurt Opera and all three have come as featured guests to my opera courses at one time or another.

Dortmund by the way was the fifty-fourth German opera house where I have seen at least one performance. See my album Opera Houses in Germany for the full list.

Between the two opera performances I spent a pleasant autumn day cycling rather unsystematically around the many parks and neighborhoods of Dortmund on one of the Metropolradruhr bikes, which turned out to be simply the familiar NextBikes under a different name.

Since I already had an account with NextBikes I didn’t have to register again for the Metropolradruhr system, but could just go ahead and check out a bike from one of their many stations in the center of Dortmund.

First review: The Dortmund Opera

  • Last visit to Dortmund: Oct 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (16)

Comments (24)

  • Odiseya's Profile Photo
    Apr 27, 2016 at 11:46 AM

    I enjoy in virtual tour. Dortmund have cheap flight to/from Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and it is high in my future trip list.

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Interesting tour of Dortmund. I particularly liked your tip on cycling. The link you provided has excellent maps for bike tours!

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    I wish we had a true bike rental network like NextBike here....not to mention a disorganized railway system you only had to wait one hour for rather than half a day!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jul 1, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    Dortmund looks quite a modern city. The Opera House looks modern and plain, not like those beautiful old opera houses in Germany. Like the Metropolradruhr system, sounds excellent!

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    I never knew much about Dortmund, probably because it appears similar to the American rust-belt cities and therefore doesn't have much to attract tourists. Nevertheless, it does look like a city with some interesting things to see and do

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Sep 23, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      Hi David, thanks for your visit to my Dortmund page. Yes, in some ways Dortmund is comparable to the American rust-belt cities: they have lost a lot of heavy industry in recent decades and are having to re-invent themselves. A big difference is that Dortmund was also a big coal mining center (take a look at ettiewyn’s comment just below yours). When they stopped mining coal, it was only a matter of months before the city was cleaner than at any time in five or six generations, so there was a big improvement in the quality of life.

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo
    Apr 28, 2012 at 6:11 AM

    Hello Don, an interesting page! I liked the opera trailers, but I must admit that at a first glance the opera house looked like a train station to me... oops! I also like your more unusual tips about the Tafel, protests and vhs.
    My dad went to uni in Dortmund in the 1960s, he told me what a shock it was to move to such a big city, and how he could not open the windows because then everything would have been covered by black dust.
    I have been to Dortmund several times, but never did any sightseeing (need to go back and do that!)

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2012 at 3:46 AM

    Very interesting page, thanks. Not a fan of Baroque opera here, though. Agree fully on the comments on train vs. car/plane.

  • globetrott's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    an interesting page, Don, and good to see that they also have that interesting concept of NextBike !

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Jan 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    From outside, the Opera House in Dortmund looks exactly like the Palais des Sports in Grenoble where every year a 6 days cycling race takes place! It is good that the Institut Français has maintained its biblio-bus : because of funding cuts, a lot of activities have been abandonned around the world. I wonder if German Adult Education Center is more or less equivalent to "Maison de la Culture" in France (Wiki explains). It is interesting to learn that even in Germany(!), there are protests !

  • csordila's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Hi Don, a fine page you have here! L.


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