"Opera in Erfurt" Top 5 Page for this destination Erfurt by Nemorino

Erfurt Travel Guide: 298 reviews and 912 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.

  • Last visit to Erfurt: Jul 2009
  • Intro Updated Jul 22, 2012
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Reviews (24)

Comments (34)

  • Emily2410's Profile Photo
    Dec 1, 2013 at 1:43 AM

    hi Don, I already got the ICE ticket for coming destinations include Weimar, Erfurt and Gotha this coming Saturday after my last exam on Friday, the 6th Dec. Looking forward to reading all your tips about Erfurt :)

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Dec 1, 2013 at 1:57 AM

      Hi Emily, good luck on your exams! Have a great time in Weimar, Erfurt and Gotha.

    • Emily2410's Profile Photo
      Dec 1, 2013 at 3:01 AM

      thanks Don, fighting for the exams ^^

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Erfurt is another German city I never heard of, but of which I learned a lot by reading your page. A nice thing about your living in Germany is the pages you write about some of these obscure cities that I would otherwise never know about.

    • Nemorino's Profile Photo
      Feb 20, 2013 at 1:39 AM

      David, thanks for finding my Erfurt page. I first went to Erfurt on business, but later also to see some performances at the new opera house.

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2013 at 1:26 AM

    I've had a great tour around Erfurt. Sounds like quite a nice city!

  • Regina1965's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    An inhabited bridge, haven´t seen that before, thanks for sharing. Have you tried the really cheap seats at the opera yet? ;)

  • german_eagle's Profile Photo
    Jul 22, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    I did not notice any riding their bicycles in the tunnel under the railroads. It's basically impossible due to the many people waiting for the trams/buses. I saw two or three guys pushing their bikes, though - wondering if the issue is solved otherwise.

  • slothtraveller's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    An enjoyable virtual visit to Erfurt. The inhabited bridge and the cathedral look like sights worth seeing. Now I must check out some of your other Thuringia pages!

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    Very interesting story about Willy Brandt's visit! The river and mill look quite rural and rather pretty, and the cathedral especially lovely at night.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Feb 25, 2010 at 2:06 PM

    Fabulous updates about Erfurt here. I would love to visit the city in summer, as I have only been there in winter time.

  • Elisabcn's Profile Photo
    Jan 13, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    Again me, touring Germany virtually with you. Nice page and place but I guess it won't be my "German destination" ;-) Thanks for sharing

  • richiecdisc's Profile Photo
    Dec 16, 2009 at 2:36 AM

    Stopped for lunch 1 day b/ only made it to Rathaus. I missed a lot; this "nicht alltäglich" page has me wanting to return. Only thing worse than name dropping is alluding to it, now you have us thinking: one thing you are very good at.Long live libraries.

Nemorino

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