Mozart's Idomeneo in Augsburg
The opera Idomeneo, by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is on the program of the Augsburg Theater again this season. I haven't seen it in Augsburg (yet), but I've seen beautiful productions of it in Bremen and in Frankfurt am Main.
Idomeneo was Mozart's twelfth opera, written when he was twenty-five years old (in 1781) for the court theater in Munich. The libretto was in Italian, by a man named Gianbattista Veresco, who lived in Salzburg.
The creation of Idomeneo is very well documented because Mozart was in Munich when he was composing the opera, and he wrote daily letters about it to his father Leopold Mozart in Salzburg. Leopold then had to negotiate with the (touchy) librettist Veresco about all the changes his son wanted in the text.
Though Idomeneo is not performed as often as Mozart's most popular operas Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan tutte and The Magic Flute, the composer himself considered it one of his personal favorites.
In addition to Augsburg, the opera houses in Houston, Cologne, Meiningen, Munich, Rennes, Salzburg and Stuttgart also presented Idomeneo in the first half of 2005.
Walking along Bahnhofstraße from or towards the station, have a look at the facades here and there. The late 19th and early 20th century buildings have some surprises in stall which the usual passer-by overlooks.
Hoher Dom - outside: Romanesque vs Gothic
Here you see the Romanesque side of the Dom. The difference with the Gothic side is very clear.
The Romanesque style developed in the Middle Ages from a religious conception supporting silent meditation and the inferiority of mankind to God and is thus characterized by massive walls, small windows and "low" churches.
On the contrary, the side of the Dom in the previous tip is Gothic; this style, which developed in the late Middle Ages - beginning of humanism, is characterized by very high walls and large, well decorated windows, in order to get closer to God and to let His light enter the church and descend on the believers.
Hoher Dom - outside: the Romanesque portal
This is the Romanesque portal. If you have read the previous tip, you can see its features: it is massive and with a very simple gable. The portal itself portrays scenes from the Bible, but the figures are very stylized.
This impressive cathedral in Romanesque style (nave and narthex 925-1065) has later Gothic additions (choir 1326-1431). Notable are the eldest stained glass windows with figured motives in the world (11th century), the bronze doors (around 1020) and the crypt (10th century). An absolute must see activity!