Gelsenkirchen Things to Do

  • 2. Billboard advertising the exhibition
    2. Billboard advertising the exhibition
    by Nemorino
  • 2. On the Simon Boccanegra stage set
    2. On the Simon Boccanegra stage set
    by Nemorino
  • 4. The stage manager
    4. The stage manager
    by Nemorino

Most Recent Things to Do in Gelsenkirchen

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    Consolidation Colliery Shaft 9

    by Nemorino Updated Aug 12, 2012

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    1. Consolidation Colliery Shaft 9
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    This tower at the Consolidation mine above shaft number 9 was built in 1922 and is now listed as a protected historical monument, together with its two engine houses.

    The other mining buildings in the immediate vicinity have been demolished, and the area has been made into a park, but the city plans to develop it into an industrial park for sustainable technologies.

    Second photo: The tower with one of the newly restored engine houses in the foreground.

    Third photo: The Shaft 9 Tower as seen from a nearby residential street.

    Fourth photo: Information panel with Then and Now photos and an explanation of the city's plans for future development of this area.

    Fifth photo: The Consol Theater is located in one of the few remaining buildings from the old Consolidation Colliery.

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    Werner Ruhnau exhibition

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 25, 2011

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    1. Werner Ruhnau exhibition in the MiR lobby
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    In 2007 there was an exhibition in the Musiktheater im Revier about Werner Ruhnau (born 1922), who was the chief architect for this opera house when it was built from 1956 to 1959.

    He was influenced not only by the Bauhaus movement of the 1920s, but also by the medieval Bauhütte, which was a sort of clandestine builder's guild with its own laws, courts and secrets. Ruhnau's conclusion from his study of the Bauhütte was that a team of architects and artists should work together on a large building, and that they should all live together on the construction site.

    Second photo: A billboard advertising the exhibition: "Werner Ruhnau: Space, Play and the Arts".

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    The make-up department

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 25, 2011

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    1. In the make-up department
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    Our tour also included a look at the make-up department, which is a very busy place in any opera house before a performance, especially if the entire chorus has to be made up in addition to the main singers.

    Work in this department gets really challenging when it happens that, for instance, a 28-year-old mezzo soprano has to be made up to look like the mother of a 45-year-old tenor.

    Second photo: In addition to its opera ensemble, chorus and orchestra, the Musiktheater im Revier (MiR) has its own ballet company, which rehearses here.

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    The costume department

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 25, 2011

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    1. Looking at the costumes
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    One of the highlights of any opera house tour is a visit to the costume department.

    Hundreds of costumes are kept here, sometimes for decades (the oldest one I noticed was from the year 1968), and the people in charge can always find individual costumes when they are needed.

    Additional photos: In the costume department.

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    Touring the opera house

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 25, 2011

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    1. Guided tour of the opera house
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    On my second visit to Gelsenkirchen I happened to be there on a day when they were offering a guided tour of the opera house, including the backstage areas that most of us don't get to see very often.

    Second photo: Here some people from our tour group are standing on the stage set for Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. It consisted of about two dozen platforms which could be raised or lowered individually at different times during the performance.

    Third photo: On the stage.

    Fourth photo: This control board is used during the performance by the stage manager (Inspizient) to call the singers and give instructions to the stagehands.

    Fifth photo: Some of the many lights at one side of the stage.

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    The workshops

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 25, 2011

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    1. Touring the workshops
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    At the end of our opera house tour we were taken through the workshops where the stage sets are made.

    For more behind-the-scenes opera house tours, please have a look at my Paris, Karlsruhe, Leipzig and Frankfurt am Main pages.

    Additional photos: In the workshops.

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    Musiktheater im Revier (MiR)

    by Nemorino Updated Dec 25, 2011

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    1. Musiktheater im Revier (MiR), Gelsenkirchen
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    Thus far I have seen two operas here at the MiR in Gelsenkirchen. The first was Puccini's Turandot in 2002, and the second was Verdi's Simon Boccanegra in 2007.

    Most opera houses, including Frankfurt am Main, play the second version of Simon Boccanegra, which Verdi completed in 1881 using a revised libretto by Arrigo Boito. But the General Music Director in Gelsenkirchen decided he wanted to do the rarely performed first version of 1857, because he said it was more unified stylistically than the later version, which mixes Verdi's early and later styles.

    I had seen the second version several times before, but never the first, so I went to Gelsenkirchen to see it. The performance was good (the Australian tenor Christopher Lincoln sang the role of Gabriele Adorno), but now that I have seen both versions I think the second version is much better. For one thing, the really famous scene in the council chambers where Boccanegra makes an impassioned plea for peace wasn't even in the first version. Also the character of Boccanegra has been made much more complex and interesting in the second version. In the first he was basically just a schemer among schemers, but in the second he has become more of a visionary.

    Second photo: Looking down at the orchestra pit from the second balcony. The large hall seats 1005 spectators, and there is also a smaller hall with 347 seats.

    Third photo: Stage entrance.

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    Veltins Arena

    by Maria250 Updated Jul 26, 2011

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    source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veltins-Arena

    Plans to construct a new stadium emerged in the late 1990s, as fans and managers sought to move out of the outdated Parkstadion, and create a thoroughly modern multifunctional arena. Following Schalke 04's historic 1997 victory in the UEFA Cup, and the club's upcoming 100th anniversary in 2004, the contract to construct a €186 million stadium was given in 1998 to the German construction firm HBM.

    wikipedia

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    Route Industriekultur

    by diocletianvs Updated Jun 11, 2006

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    Elevated walkways

    Nordstern park is one of the important points of the Industrial Culture Cultural Route that criss-crosses the Ruhr region connecting various places of interest connected with the industrial past of the Ruhr.

    There are more than twenty thematic routes that connect almost 50 sites of interest. Information is available in several large visitor centres. Nordsternpark Gelsenkirchen is part of the two thematic routes: "On the Way to the Clear Blue Emscher" and "The Westphalian Coal-Mining Trail".

    More info is available on the website listed below.

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    Nordsternpark - Kinderland

    by diocletianvs Updated Jun 11, 2006

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    Kinderland

    In southern part of the Nordsternpark a huge area is transformed into a children park - Kinderland. Here kids will find huge playgrounds, climbing hills, indian villages and artificial lakes which should keep them occupied for several hours, maybe even longer.

    On the photo is an artificial lake with wooden barrels turned into floating platforms - ideal for a great naval battles or boat races.

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    Nordsternpark - viewpoints

    by diocletianvs Updated Jun 11, 2006

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    Nordsternpark

    Industrial waste in form of slag hills was so big in quantities that it was impossible to get rid of it. "When you can't get rid of it, then use it!" was the concept of park creators. In Nordstern park huge slag hills got green cover on top and are used as viewpoints. Once you climb these pyramids you can admire other similar pyramids in the region and take a look at ongoing industrial production as well as recycled and re-used sites of the old industries.

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    Open amphitheatre

    by diocletianvs Updated Jun 10, 2006

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    Amphitheatre Gelsenkirchen

    One of the main attractions of the Nordsternpark is an open-air amphitheatre that is located at the banks of the canal, next to the red arch-bridge. This modern amphitheatre seats more than 6,000 people and it is here where numerous concerts and events are held during the summer.

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    The Red Bridge

    by diocletianvs Updated Jun 10, 2006

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    The Red Bridge

    An elegant double arch bridge is constructed at the place where the main pedestrian and bicycle track crosses the Rhein-Herne canal. It has a suspended deck but it is its red-colored arches that give the main identity to this structure. The bridge has become one of the symbols not only of Nordsternpark but also of the town of Gelsenkirchen.
    From the bridge you can observe boats running up and down the canal, and the passenger boat stop is situated next to the bridge.

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    Nordsternpark (landscape park)

    by diocletianvs Updated Jun 10, 2006

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    Nordsternpark (landscape park)

    Large areas of the former colliery were cleaned up to give place to a huge Nordstern landscape park. It was one of the largest projects of the IBA Emscher park, designed for the 1997 National Garden Show.
    Park is divided in two by the river Emscher and the Rhein-Herne canal. In the northern part there are contemporary formal gardens, graffitti walls, free climbing walls and other attractions, all connected by the elevated walking paths. The southern part of the park is returned to nature with as little human interventions (after cleanup project) as possible.

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    Nordsternpark - office complex

    by diocletianvs Updated Jun 10, 2006

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    Nordsternpark - office complex

    Nordsternpark was created within the framework of the IBA Emscher park in the 1990s on the premises of the former Nordstern coal mine. Industrial architecture was preserved and re-used for offices and park attractions. The THS main administration building is now located in newly refurbished winding tower. In the northern part, close to the business park and a huge parking lot there is also the Deutschland Express museum, featuring one of the world's largest model railways with 200 trains running over viaducts and city centers.

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