Opened in1966 thanks to an initiative of the citizenship of Dortmund the opera belongs not only to the biggest opera houses in the German-speaking area, but also to the most important buildings of new architecture in North Rhine-Westfalia and is one of the most reknown cultural institutions in western Germany. With the directorship of Heribert Germeshausen a strong focus will lie on pieces of 20th and 21st century next to classical repertoire. His aim is to establish the opera of Dortmund as a well-known place for rarities and German-speaking premieres. With the „Young Opera“ an independent area for modern music theatre consist. In 2018, the first citizen opera will be found: We DO opera!
Inaugurated in 1988, the Aalto-Musiktheater Essen showcases five to six new productions every year, altogether with more than ten revival productions. The repertory shows a period of three decades, thus keeping the exciting tradition of German Regie theater alive. With highly awarded Essen Philharmonics in the pit, Aalto-Musiktheater disposes of an orchestra of European standing.
According to the theatre‘s big dimensions, core repertoire consists of opera’s big 19th century classics. Yet Artistic Director Hein Mulders and General Music Director Tomáš Netopil have put emphasis on slavic and Mozart repertoire as well in recent years.
The Musiktheater im Revier (MiR) consists of the main house with 1000 seats and a smaller stage with about 300 spectators. It was opened in 1959 as one of the most visionary and beautiful theatre buildings in Germany. That’s what is also the role model for the artistic guidance. Many famous artists like Marilyn Horne, Torsten Kerl, Burkhard Fritz or Christian Thielemann startet their career there. The programme ranges from baroque period to modern opera and shows everything what theatre can offer: Strong aesthetics, extraordinary concepts and grand opera makes the theatre national popular. Within the New Westphalian Philharmony as artistic partner the MiR has the biggest orchestra in North Rhine Westphalia on his side.
Wuppertal Opera looks back, both architecturally and artistically, on an eventful history spanning more than one hundred years. Built in the year 1905, the opera-house was refurbished in 2009. With its permanent singer’s-ensemble and with a program that reaches out towards the city, Wuppertal Opera has recently renewed its artistic vision. "Presenting opera-performances which reflect life in the 21st century – this is our Goal", says artistic director Berthold Schneider. High artistic standards were honored among other occasions when ensemble member Catriona Morison won the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the Word Award 2017.
Numerous productions found international attention, e.g. Timofei Kuljabin's production of Verdi's "Rigoletto", as well as experimental performances like "SurrogateCities / Götterdämmerung" by Heiner Goebbels/Richard Wagner or "AscheMOND" by Helmut Oehring.
In the season 2017/2018, renowned British conductor Julia Jones joined Wuppertal Opera as Music Director.
- Oper Dortmund
- Aalto-Musiktheater, Essen
- Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen
- Oper Wuppertal
The cultural landscape of North Rhine-Westphalia is one of the most creative regions of the world. Its unique amount of theatres and concert halls, their high quality and not to forget the Buildings developed by star architects bring international reputation.
With 18 public theatres of the cities, four state theatres and over 139 theatre stages of 17.84 million inhabitants, North Rhine-Westphalia shows the highest theatre concentration of all German states with 15 opera houses, 22 orchestras, 13 ballet companies and 20 straight theatres. About 800 different productions are presented per year, among them 100 new productions in the music theatre. Names like Pina Bausch, Max Ernst, Emil Schumacher, Joseph Beuys or the married couple Becher stand for the artistic avant-garde of world-class, not to mention the names of passed days like van Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann or Heine and Böll associated with North Rhine-Westphalia. Furthermore the varied programme, the experimental character – as part of international festivals like Ruhrtriennale or Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen – and the high acceptance by the audience distinguish the theatre landscape of North Rhine-Westphalia.