Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich
The tour of the National Theater also includes a look at the backstage areas, provided no rehearsals are going on and the stagemaster on duty gives his approval.
The last time I took the tour they were setting up the stage for a performance of Das Rheingold by Richard Wagner, which by the way had its world premiere right here in this theater on September 22, 1869 on orders of King Ludwig II of Bavaria. (The composer objected to this, because he wanted to have the world premiere at Bayreuth along with the other three operas of the Ring of the Nibelungen, but the king went ahead and did it anyway, since he was the one who had financed the entire project.)
Second photo: Off to one side of the stage they have storage space for the stage sets that will be used in the next week or two.
Third and fourth photos: Some of the hydraulic machinery under the stage.
The Bavarian State Opera describes itself as "the world's busiest opera and ballet company!"
For example, their 2006/2007 season included "39 different operatic productions, seven of them new stagings including two world premières, as well as the performances by the Bavarian State Ballet" and "an extraordinarily rich and varied concert program."
And they have the singers who can do it. For instance Diana Damrau, a former Frankfurt ensemble member who now appears in several Munich productions each season.
They also have an excellent chorus director, Andres Maspero, who used to have the same position in Frankfurt.
Second photo: Nationaltheater from above, as seen from the top of the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady).
Third photo: Stage entrance.
Fourth photo: The new opera box office, behind the theater.
This National Theater ("National" meaning Bavarian, not German) has had a quite typical history for nineteenth century opera houses in this part of the world. It was first built from 1811 to 1818. In burned to the ground in 1823 and was built again by 1825. One hundred and eighteen years later it was destroyed by bombs during the Second World War, and was again rebuilt from 1958 to 1963.
The ornate box in the middle of the first photo, flanked by two statues, is the Kings Loge. Anybody can sit there now (anybody who is willing to pay between 132 and 163 Euros for a ticket, that is) but originally it was reserved for the King of Bavaria, who lived right next door in the Residenz and in fact had a private passageway so he could enter the theater unobserved. Sometimes he ordered an exclusive opera performance late at night, came over in his dressing gown and sat alone in the empty theater while the entire opera company performed for him.
Of course nobody said so to his face, but even at the time the musicians thought this was a stupid idea, because the acoustics are much better when 2100 people are in the seats, instead of only one.
Second photo: Looking up from the orchestra pit.
Classical opera house with an impressive exterior and a magnificent interior. The theater's ensemble has a long-standing tradition of excellence.
The State Opera seats 2,100 people. Five rows of stalls and the royal box overlook the circular auditorium .
at all I was really impressed of all the huge and majestic buildings all around the central area of Munich. One of them is definetely the bavarian national theatre just next to the enourmos "Residenz", the palace constructions in the heart of Munich.
The Neo-Classical opera house was entirely rebuilt after being completely destroyed in World War Two. Several premieres took place on stage such as Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde".
Take a look at my nightlife tip for a picture of the opera.
I saw a lot of skaters at the Opernplatz. Seemed as it was a kind of meeting point for skaters.
This theater/opera house on Max Joseph-square was built in the fashion of a greek temple. Obviously the Bavarian kings were great admirers of greek and roman antiquity!
Walking in and around the gardens surrounding the Bavarian State Opera is an excellent place for getting rid of the cobwebs from a long road trip.