"Opera in K-Town" Top 5 Page for this destination Kaiserslautern by Nemorino

Kaiserslautern Travel Guide: 71 reviews and 234 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.

  • Last visit to Kaiserslautern: Feb 2008
  • Intro Updated Dec 13, 2011
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Reviews (12)

Comments (29)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    Interesting that they once had the tallest house in Germany, and since than haven't built any other tall buildings.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2013 at 4:12 AM

    An interesting page Don! I had to look at the map to see where this town is located.

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Dec 13, 2011 at 3:09 AM

    Good tips, I like the dialogue from Sabrina ;) and the solar energy meter on display.

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Mar 11, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    I never have seen that sort of bicycle lockers! More expensive as the bikes themselves? I never stopped in K’lautern during my trips, but may visit shortly next time I pass by. I like the tax office gives the “good example”.

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Feb 19, 2010 at 10:31 AM

    Nice picture of Pfalztheater at night! Solar energy display is a great idea and I think other cities should follow it. Your hotel seems a good choice as well.

  • Kakapo2's Profile Photo
    Apr 16, 2009 at 2:25 PM

    I love your research about cycling everywhere :-) Was also interested to find out how an opera lover sees a city I have visited for football games about 25 times ;-))) Sissi

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2009 at 12:26 AM

    Interesting page, promoting the 'green' ideas of the town council. Liked the one of solar panels and the way they are brought closer to the public. Wish we had some here. Never seen so many bikes in one place.:)

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2008 at 3:59 AM

    I too enjoyed the African King and Fallen Angel sculptures, though it does look like they were accidentally dropped, broke into a thousand pieces and the sculpture tried drastically to put the pieces back together again. hehe!

  • Aug 27, 2008 at 7:16 PM

    Germany is an exceptional country filled with such delightful people. I can see why you chose to live and there. Do you plan on living in Europe for long?

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2008 at 7:21 AM

    Love the African King and Fallen Angel sculptures. I agree about the dreadful parking that rather ruins the concept of the theater. But I do like the modern look of the theater.

Nemorino

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