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

Mainz Travel Guide: 328 reviews and 678 photos

Mainz & Rhine River from Mainspitze

A memorable opera experience for me in Mainz was their production, several years ago, of Lady Macbeth of Mzensk, by Dimitrij Schostakowitsch.

This passionate, violent and beautiful opera was huge success in Leningrad and Moscow when it first came out in 1934 and 1935, but then Stalin saw it and disapproved. He wasn't about to tolerate such a sordid tale of a frustrated young housewife taking an illicit lover and killing her father-in-law and her husband, among other crimes. The opera was immediately banned in the Soviet Union.

People were being executed by the thousands in this period, and how Schostakowitsch managed to survive Stalin's wrath is still not entirely clear. But survive he did, and wrote some great symphonies and chamber music up to his death at age 69 in 1975, but never another great opera.

There was at least one season when both Frankfurt and Mainz had productions of Lady Macbeth of Mzensk in their schedules.

German newspaper columnists sometimes get upset about this, saying neighboring opera houses should coordinate their planning and not both do the same opera in the same year. I hope this never happens, because one of the most exciting things is to be able to see the same opera staged in two completely different ways.

Mainz is right across the the Rhine River from Wiesbaden. Both are state capitals, both have good opera houses, and what I never realized is that they are both just about the same distance from Frankfurt.

I always had the feeling that Mainz was further away, since it is off on the other side of the Rhine, and in a different Land of the German federation -- Land Rhineland-Pfalz, that sounds very far away, somehow, for us residents of Hessen.

But according to a nice website called www.koordinaten.de they are just about the same distance, in fact Mainz is all of 61 meters closer.

They calculate the straight-line distance from the center of Frankfurt to the center of Wiesbaden as being 31.529 km, and Frankfurt to Mainz as being 31.468 km. Both within easy cycling distance, in any case.

  • Last visit to Mainz: Jun 2007
  • Intro Updated Aug 15, 2015
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Reviews (19)

Comments (44)

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2015 at 7:05 AM

    Nice page Don. Thanks for the tour!

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2015 at 12:19 AM

    Mainz is in my travel want list.

  • alancollins's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    Some lovely views.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2013 at 5:25 PM

    Lovely page Don!

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Jan 11, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    What a beautiful view of the Cathedral from the State Theatre. Lovely photos.

  • bugulma's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    beautiful views of surroundings. nice idea to make a shot of the stage entrance :-)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2011 at 1:28 AM

    The views from the State Theatre over the Cathedral is great. Sounds to be a nice place to stand with a drink!

  • csordila's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2009 at 1:19 PM

    Thanks for visiting my Mainz, München and Leipzig. Among your exelent tips I have not found an answer, whether you have ever visited the city by bicycle. Laszlo

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    May 11, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    Mainz sure is rich in culture and museums. You must have been in your glory here Don.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jan 31, 2009 at 6:18 AM

    I have still not been in Mainz recently, so I am looking forward to spring and then visit the museum, Dom and the market :-)) Maybe by bicyle, although we have quite good train connections :-)


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