"Opera in K-Town" Top 5 Page for this destination Kaiserslautern by Nemorino
Kaiserslautern Travel Guide: 71 reviews and 235 photos
Kaiserslautern, better known to my fellow Americans as K-Town, is a city of nearly a hundred thousand people -- not counting the fifty thousand American and other NATO military personnel who are stationed nearby.
Thanks to the new InterCityExpress rail connection, Kaiserslautern is now less than two and a half hours from Paris. In the other direction it is thirty-nine minutes from Mannheim and eighty-one minutes from Frankfurt am Main.
Since Kaiserslautern is in the Pfalz region of Germany, a region which in English is officially referred to as "the Palatinate", the theater is called the Pfalztheater or "Palatinate Theatre".
It was inaugurated in 1995 and is currently the second newest theater building in Germany -- the newest being the new opera house in Erfurt from the year 2003.
The first opera I saw in Kaiserslautern was Jonny spielt auf by Ernst Krenek (1900-1991). This is a comic opera from the year 1926 that was hugely popular in Europe in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
When the Nazis came into power in 1933 they immediately banned all of Krenek's music on the grounds that it was "decadent". The Nazis particularly disliked Jonny spielt auf because the hero was an Afro-American and the music included some jazz influences.
In 1938 Krenek went into exile in the United States, where he continued composing and also taught at various universities. He became an American citizen in 1945.
Later I went back to Kaiserslautern and saw a second opera, Der König Kandaules by Alexander Zemlinsky (1871-1942). This is an opera that I have also seen in Cologne. It was Zemlinsky’s last opera, and it wasn’t quite finished when he died in poverty in New York in 1942.
For more on Krenek and Zemlinsky and some of their contemporaries, please see my tip/review called The lost generation of opera composers on my Zürich page.
Like several other public buildings in Kaiserslautern, the tax office has covered nearly its entire roof with solar... more travel advice
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