"Opera and cycling in Bad Orb" Bad Orb by Nemorino
Bad Orb Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 45 photos
Bad Orb is a nice little town in the Spessart hills in the German state of Hessen, about 60 km to the east of Frankfurt.
Since it only had 9,779 inhabitants at last count (down 208 from five years ago), you will not be shocked to learn that there is no opera house in Bad Orb. But what is does have is the Bad Orb Opera Academy under the direction of retired opera singer Carlos Krause.
Opera performances have been held in Bad Orb every summer since 1987, but I only started coming in 2001, after getting to know Carlos Krause in Frankfurt. The operas I have seen in Bad Orb so far are:
Bedrich Smetana, Die verkaufte Braut (The Bartered Bride) in 2001
Georges Bizet, Carmen in 2002
Albert Lortzing, Zar und Zimmermann (The Tsar and the Carpenter) in 2003
Eugen D’Albert, Tiefland in 2004
Peter I. Tschaikowsky, Eugen Onegin in 2005
Ludwig van Beethoven, Fidelio in 2006
Gaetano Donizetti, Don Pasquale in 2007
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Così fan tutte in 2008
Johann Strauss Jr., Die Fledermaus (The Bat) in 2009
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Don Giovanni in 2010
Giacomo Rossini, The Barber of Seville in 2011
Their 2012 production, which I unfortunately could not attend, was the opera The Merry Wives of Windsor by the nineteenth century German composer Otto Nicolai (1810-1849). This is an opera which is now seldom performed in the large opera houses but is having something of a comeback at the smaller houses and summer festivals. I saw it three times, with somewhat different casts, in the summer of 2009 in an open-air production in the courtyard of Weikersheim castle. In the same summer a different production of The Merry Wives of Windsor was performed in the Stiftsruine in Bad Hersfeld.
I was also not able to attend their 2013 production of the opera Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck.
Bad Orb is in the Orb Valley on a creek or small river which is also called the Orb. To cycle here from Frankfurt, just follow the regional cycling route R3 up the Main and Kinzig Valleys, then turn right into the Orb Valley. The town is five kilometers upstream from the Kinzig.
My "Off the Beaten Path" cycling tips begin at the Wegscheide up on a pass four kilometers to the east of Bad Orb, and continue down the Jossa and Sinn Valleys to Gemünden, where the Sinn flows into the Main River. The tour is continued beyond there on my Germany page.
-- The first mention of Orb in any known document was from the year 1050, but it must have been quite a small... more travel advice
The twenty-fourth summer production of the Opera Academy in Bad Orb was Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart... more travel advice
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