"Opera and cycling in Leipzig" Top 5 Page for this destination Leipzig by Nemorino
Leipzig Travel Guide: 520 reviews and 1,115 photos
Leipzig is now just three and a quarter hours from Frankfurt am Main by InterCityExpress train, and there are thirteen such trains per day. You don't need a visa, you don't have to change money, and the train doesn't even slow down when it goes through Gerstungen. Times have changed.
Whenever I am in Leipzig I of course make a point of attending one of their fine opera productions. The first was a quite traditional production of Germany's most popular and often-performed opera, The Magic Flute by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, followed by a clever modern version of The Bartered Bride by Bedrich Smetana and a seductive Orfeo ed Euridice by Christoph Willibald Gluck.
Later I saw The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach (with the American tenor Robert Chafin as Hoffmann) and more recently La Sonnambula by Vincenzo Bellini (twice) and the premiere of Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz (with Robert Chafin as Énée).
Dresden and Leipzig, the two largest cities in Sachsen, have very different-looking opera houses. As you can see from my Dresden page, the Semper Opera in Dresden has three U-shaped balconies and is very ornate on the inside, with warm colors, endless paintings and decorations, and looks as though it was built in the 1840s -- which in fact it was, though it has been destroyed and rebuilt twice since then.
The Leipzig Opera House was designed and built in the 1950s, and is a faithful reflection of the tastes and priorities of that era. It has only one straight balcony, so you have a full view of the stage from any seat in the house. There is lots of wood paneling, but very little ornamentation. The elegant but unspectacular design elements on the walls and ceiling were created mainly for their acoustic properties.
This opera house is not a huge tourist attraction like the one in Dresden, but it's very attractive in its way, and I always enjoy going there. It's a Listed Building now, so when they did renovation work on it in 1992/93 and again in 2007 they were careful to preserve the original ambience of the building.
Leipzig in the 1960s
The only thing I can remember about my first visit to Leipzig is a large grimy restaurant at the station late at night. During the time it took me to have a meal and a couple of beers, three different squads of People's Police came through and checked everyone's identification.
I guess I must have stayed at the InterHotel, as all foreigners were required to do, but I don't remember anything about it. At some point my cousin Manfred drove over from Nordhausen in his Trabbi (this was before they got the Lada) to pick me up.
Photos: 1. Cycling in Leipzig 2. Colorful barefoot cyclist 3. Two more cyclists 4. Three more cyclists 5. More people... more travel advice
In the 1990s the huge Leipzig railroad station, one of the largest in Europe, was completely refurbished and modernized,... more travel advice
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