"Opera and Cycling in Freiburg" Top 5 Page for this destination Freiburg im Breisgau by Nemorino
Freiburg im Breisgau Travel Guide: 418 reviews and 1,093 photos
Freiburg im Breisgau is a pleasant university city at the edge of the Black Forest in the southwest corner of Germany, near the borders with France and Switzerland.
In other parts of Germany, Freiburg is envied for its relatively mild climate, since the daily weather maps in the newspapers and on television often show Freiburg as being a degree or two warmer than any other German city.
Freiburg is also known as one of the better cycling cities in Germany. This is not only because of the mild climate and the large student population, but also because the city has had a clear policy since the 1980s of promoting bicycle use (and public transport) and constructing an extensive network of cycling routes, while taking measures to discourage unnecessary automobile traffic.
On a recent visit I rented a bicycle in Freiburg on two consecutive days and had a fine time exploring the city.
The one opera I have seen in Freiburg thus far was Werther by Jules Massenet (1842-1912), which I have also seen in Würzburg, Darmstadt, Frankfurt am Main and Brussels.
This is a French opera based on the best-selling German novel of the 18th century, The Sorrows of Young Werther, by none other than Johann Wolfgang Goethe, or von Goethe, as he was known after being raised to the aristocracy on his 50th birthday. When he wrote the novel he was only 25, though, and still felt somewhat discriminated against as a non-aristocratic intellectual.
The fine Freiburg production of Werther takes the opera out of the 18th century and plants it firmly in the 21st, with modern apartment blocks in the background and a modern children's playground in the center of the stage. When Werther shoots himself at the end, out of desperation because he is hopelessly in love with someone else's wife, he does so at the top of the slide, and his blood gradually trickles down the slide as he sings his final duet with his beloved but unattainable Charlotte.
The young tenor Dong Won Kim (no relation to the filmmaker, as far as I know) put in a fine performance as Werther. Anja Jung was a somewhat matronly Charlotte, and Lini Gong nearly stole the show as the younger sister Sophie, who could have been Werther's salvation if he had been a bit less obsessive.
Like most German cities, Freiburg has several partner cities (also known as twin cities or sister cities) in other... more travel advice
This new riverbank café near the university and the city center was first opened in the summer of 2006, and has quickly... more travel advice
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