"Opera and cycling in Würzburg" Top 5 Page for this destination Würzburg by Nemorino
Würzburg Travel Guide: 353 reviews and 1,189 photos
Würzburg is a city of 130,000 people, located on the Main River not quite 220 kilometers upstream from Frankfurt. There are fine bicycle paths all along the river, so it's no problem getting here. And if you're in a hurry, there are about thirty-five trains per day in each direction, the fastest being the InterCity and InterCityExpress trains which make the journey from Frankfurt to Würzburg in one hour and eleven minutes.
A few years ago I came to Würzburg to attend the premiere of a new production of the opera Werther by Jules Massenet (1842-1912).
This is a French opera based on a best-selling 18th century German novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther, by Johann Wolfgang Goethe, who wrote it when he was 25. It is about a young man who is hopelessly in love with someone else's wife, and it is largely autobiographical except that Goethe didn't kill himself like his character Werther did at the end of the book.
Since then, I have seen different productions of Massenet's Werther at the opera houses in Darmstadt, Freiburg in Breisgau, Frankfurt am Main and Brussels.
The later-to-be-famous composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883) was barely twenty years old in 1833 when he was hired as the chorus director of the Würzburg City Theater for the 1833/1834 season. Aside from his job at the theater, he spent that year writing his first opera, Die Feen, which was not performed at all during his lifetime. The first Würzburg production of Die Feen didn't take place until February 2005.
Wagner himself later disowned his first three operas and decreed that they could not be performed at Bayreuth, which is why the earliest opera shown there is his fourth, Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) from the year 1843.
In September 2002 The Flying Dutchman was staged in Würzburg by Katharina Wagner, the youngest of the composer's great-granddaughters. She was 24 at the time, and she shocked the assembled Wagnerites by putting on a lively and funny show with none of the pathos that has traditionally been associated with Wagner operas. This was her first production as stage director. I didn't see it, unfortunately, but it was generally well reviewed by the critics (unlike some of the other productions she has done since then).
Würzburg has a good system of five tram lines and eighteen bus lines, not counting all the suburban and regional buses.... more travel advice
Würzburg is one of a growing number of German cities (like Aschaffenburg, Gera and Leipzig, to name just a few examples)... more travel advice
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