"Opera and Protest in Stuttgart" Top 5 Page for this destination Stuttgart by Nemorino
Stuttgart Travel Guide: 613 reviews and 1,611 photos
The State Opera in Stuttgart used to have a great reputation for high quality, innovative opera productions. It was voted “Opera House of the Year” in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2006. (The Frankfurt Opera got this title for 2003.)
I have seen quite a few operas in Stuttgart, including L'italiana in Algeri (The Italian Girl in Algeria) by Gioacchino Rossini, The Coronation of Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi, Christof Nel's production of Die Walküre by Richard Wagner (with the then-unknown Eva-Maria Westbroek in the small role of Gerhilde), Peter Konwitschny's powerful staging of Elektra by Richard Strauss (with Renée Morloc, Susan Bullock, Eva-Maria Westbroek and Frank van Aken) and Doktor Faust by the German/Italian composer Ferruccio Busoni (with Gerd Grochowski, Johannes Martin Kränzle and Hope Briggs).
Update October 2010: When I first started this Stuttgart page in 2004 I included two tips on an idiotic project called "Stuttgart 21" which was intended to replace the city's well-functioning central railroad station with 33 kilometers of tunnels leading to a slanting underground mini-station, so as to free up many acres of urban real estate for profitable new office buildings and luxury apartment blocks.
My two tips on "Stuttgart 21" were this one in the category of Transportation and this one under Warnings or Dangers.
At the time I wrote: "Fortunately there is little danger that this hare-brained scheme will actually be implemented, mainly because it would cost millions of Euros that nobody has in their budget."
Little did I know that six years later this project would turn into one of the hottest political issues of 2010, not only in Stuttgart but throughout Germany. The political establishment was still determined to go through with the project no matter what the cost. And a large cross-section of the population was determined to prevent it. Thousands of people of all ages and political persuasions took to the streets of Stuttgart several times weekly to demonstrate against the project, and many thousands more joined them in October 2010 when the authorities started demolishing one wing of the railroad station and cutting down dozens of century-old trees in the adjoining castle park.
I have left my two tips on "Stuttgart 21" unchanged.
Update July 2011: This has been a turbulent year in Stuttgart, with state elections that swept the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) out of power for the first time in decades and installed a member of the Greens party as state governor (Ministerpräsident) for the first time ever.
The conflict over the "Stuttgart 21" project is still raging, however, because the federal government and the German Railway managers are determined to go through with it, no matter what. And thousands of people in Stuttgart are still determined to prevent it, now with the support of the governor and parts (but only parts) of the state government.
On July 9, 2011, I went down to Stuttgart by train to take part in a large demonstration against "Stuttgart 21". I took some photos, of course, and have made seven new Local Customs tips for the benefit of those of you who might visit Stuttgart and would like to know what the frequent demonstrations are about.
The Castle Park (Schlossgarten) is a favorite place for cycling in Stuttgart. I've never actually cycled myself in... more travel advice
As of 2011, one of the very contentious issues in Stuttgart is the "ground water management", which means lowering level... more travel advice
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