"Opera in Erfurt" Top 5 Page for this destination Erfurt by Nemorino
Erfurt Travel Guide: 379 reviews and 1,356 photos
Germany's newest opera house is located in Erfurt, the capital city of Thüringen. This is the only new opera house to have been built in Germany so far in the 21st century. (The last one in the 20th century was the one in Kaiserslautern that was completed in 1995.)
The building is in the shape of a rectangle with a glass front by a reflecting pool. Inside there is a striking white spiral staircase and a large black funnel which is actually the part of the main hall where the spectators sit.
The first performance I saw in this fine new building was the premiere of a new production of the opera Jenufa, by Leos Janacek (1854-1928), with Hedwig Fassbender as Kostelnicka.
Janacek was a Czech composer who wrote nine operas in his lifetime. Jenufa was first performed in 1904, when he was fifty, and he wrote most of his other operas when he was well over sixty. Legend has it that he used to sit around in the park noting down what people said, in Czech, all around him, and noting down the melodies they said it in. Then he worked these melodies into his operas, so there is a tight fit between the words and the music. That's why his operas are almost always performed in the original Czech, even if none of the singers or spectators understands that language.
One of my recent visits to Erfurt was to see the operetta Die Dollarprinzessin (The Dollar Princess) by Leo Fall (1873-1925), starring Frauke Schäfer as Alice.
This operetta was first performed in Vienna in 1907, at a time when rich American heiresses were all trying to find European aristocrats to get married to.
Alice in the operetta runs her father's company with an iron hand, and has no time or patience for men of any sort, aristocrats or not. Of course she finally does fall for one, but not until there have been all sorts of wild complications and a trip to Europe. The music is fun, and the Erfurt production is quite clever, including among other things a swimming pool full of dollars, as in a Scrooge McDuck comic.
Updates in 2009: Here on my Erfurt page I have updated the Thanks Willy! tip because the building where Willy Brandt once appeared at the window has now been salvaged and renovated, so it looks a lot different now than it did in 2004. I have also put in a tip about a new restaurant in that building and added an update and two new tips to the Erfurt transportation category.
Photos: 1. Hesitating at the entrance to the tunnel 2. Cycling at the main station 3. Another cyclist at the... more travel advice
It says Willy B. over the door, and this is the same building where Willy Brandt stayed during his brief but historic... more travel advice
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