"Opera and cycling in Mainz" Top 5 Page for this destination Mainz by Nemorino
Mainz Travel Guide: 323 reviews and 738 photos
Just got back from an opera premiere in Mainz, a fine new production of Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) by Richard Wagner, conducted by General Music Director Catherine Rückwardt. (September 18, 2004.)
Another 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.
Like just about any other place in Mainz and vicinity, the Citadel affords nice views of the cathedral from several... more travel advice
This is the statue of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press, on Gutenbergplatz near the cathedral. He... more travel advice
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