"Opera and cycling in Bad Orb" Bad Orb by Nemorino

Bad Orb Travel Guide: 23 reviews and 34 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.

But I do hope I will be able to attend their 2013 production of the opera Hänsel und Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck. They have scheduled four performances of this very popular opera:
• Thursday, August 15, 2013 in Hanau
• A performance for children on Friday afternoon, August 16, in Bad Orb
• The "premiere" on Saturday, August 17, in Bad Orb
• The "second performance" on Sunday, August 18, in Bad Orb


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.

  • Last visit to Bad Orb: Aug 2011
  • Intro Updated Sep 4, 2012
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Reviews (23)

Comments (43)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Feb 12, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Hope you make it to Bad Orb to see this year's production. Looks nice to cycle in the Jossa Valley.

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Sep 18, 2012 at 5:35 AM

    I don't know much about opera, so it was an interesting learning experience reading about some of the operas performed here.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Sep 18, 2012 at 6:15 AM

      Hi David, thanks for your visit to my Bad Orb page. I'm glad you found the opera tips interesting.

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    I absolutely adore the Fachwerkhaus in Germany.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Bad Orb looks quite nice. I am trying to imagine getting a bike untangled from 20 other bikes in enough time to get off the train. I guess you are an old hand and it probably is quite easy!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2012 at 1:37 AM

    Came back to see how Bad Orb looks because I am on the way in 2 hours to celebrate 80th birthday of my dad :-)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Sep 21, 2011 at 9:54 PM

    Being able to bicycle through town to sightsee sounds so fun and very educational. The towns looks fascinating. Nice page Don!

  • bugulma's Profile Photo
    Aug 30, 2010 at 11:39 PM

    interesting performances they have every summer!! and I like Burgjoss tow with its spelling name as well as for the interesting history

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Oct 4, 2009 at 2:23 AM

    Great that you enjoyed another performance so close to home!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2009 at 11:30 AM

    This looks such a pretty town. I love the half-timbered houses in your openin shot, and the Gradierwerk sounds fascinating :-)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2009 at 1:07 PM

    Fantastic new tip for those who live less than 7 km away from the nearest opera house. *winkygrin*

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