Opernhaus Dortmund

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Opernhaus Dortmund
Dortmund-Oper 2502.JPG
The opera house in 2008
General information
Location Dortmund, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Coordinates 51°30′40″N 7°27′42″E / 51.5110°N 7.4616°E / 51.5110; 7.4616Coordinates: 51°30′40″N 7°27′42″E / 51.5110°N 7.4616°E / 51.5110; 7.4616
Opened 1966 (1966)
Design and construction
  • Heinrich Rosskotten
  • Edgar Tritthart

Opernhaus Dortmund is the opera house of Dortmund, Germany opened in 1966 and operated by the Theater Dortmund organisation. This opera house replaces an earlier facility which opened in 1904 and was destroyed during World War I.

Architects Heinrich Rosskotten and Edgar Tritthart designed the modernist structure.[1] The design separates the functions of the stage and technical areas in the Bühnenhaus (stage house), which is dominated by straight lines, from the auditorium under a thin-shell structure roof.

Opening season[edit]

The new house opened on 3 March 1966, to serve as a venue for operas, ballets, concerts, and for plays which require a large stage. The inaugural performance was Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, an opera first performed in 1911, shortly after its premiere; Wilhelm Schüchter conducted the Dortmunder Philharmoniker.[2] Teresa Żylis-Gara appeared as Octavian, along with guest artist Elisabeth Grümmer as the Marschallin and Kurt Böhme as Ochs. In the short remaining part of the season, Verdi's Il trovatore, with Fedora Barbieri as Azucena, Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Hindemith's Mathis der Maler, and Johann Strauss' Der Zigeunerbaron were performed.

The first plays staged in the so-called Großes Haus during this period were Brecht's Leben des Galilei and Anouilh's Becket. Unusual for the era of the iron curtain, the Volkstheater Rostock performed Peter Weiss's Die Verfolgung und Ermordung Jean Paul Marats dargestellt durch die Schauspielgruppe des Hospizes zu Charenton unter Anleitung des Herrn de Sade.

Administrative personnel[edit]

Marek Janowski was the Generalmusikdirektor from 1973 to 1979, followed by Moshe Atzmon (1996-2000), Anton Marik, Arthur Fagen, and since 2008 Jac van Steen. The Dortmunder Philharmoniker used the opera house for concerts until 2002.

Christine Mielitz was Opera Director at the Dortmund Theatre for the 2002 / 2003 season.

Jens-Daniel Herzog has been Opera Director since August 2011.[3]

World premieres and repertoire[edit]

In 1967, Schüchter conducted the premiere of the opera Eli by Walter Steffens. The city of Dortmund commissioned the work based on the drama by Nelly Sachs.[4]

The facility hosted the first performance of Reinhard Febel's opera Sekunden und Jahre des Caspar Hauser in 1992 with Alexander Marco-Buhrmester in the title role.[5]

Pascal Paul-Harang produced the second staging of Gavin Bryars 1998 opera Doctor Ox's Experiment in 1999, with Alexander Rumpf conducting.[6]

In 2000, Michael Hofstetter conducted a production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.[7]

Oper Dormund commissioned Wallenberg from Erkki-Sven Tüür and premiered the work on 5 May 2001 with staging by Philipp Kochheim and Alexander Rumpf as conductor.[8]

In 2004, Theater Dortmund planned a new production of Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first opera house.[9] The production began with Das Rheingold on 26 June 2005, directed by Christine Mielitz and conducted by Arthur Fagen[10] and continued with Siegfried on 2 September 2006.[11] In April 2007, the company performed a complete cycle.[12] In 2009, Mielitz staged Henze's Der junge Lord, conducted by Jac van Steen, as part of project RUHR.2010 that named the whole Ruhr that year's European Capital of Culture.[13]

Beverley Blankenship staged Verdi's Falstaff beginning 11 April 2010, with Jac van Steen conducting and Jacek Strauch in the title role.[14]



  1. ^ "Dortmund Opera House". structurae. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  2. ^ "Celebrating 100 Years of Theatre Dortmund". Theater Dortmund. 2004. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  3. ^ Nadine Albach (14 April 2010). ""Wir sind eine Oper für alle"" (in German). derwesten.de. Retrieved 7 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "Walter Steffens Werke / Works" (in German). Walter Steffens. 2010. Retrieved 2 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "Reinhard Febel / Werke". Ricordi. 2011. Retrieved 9 November 2011. 
  6. ^ "Doctor Ox's Experiment". Schott. 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "Michael Hofstetter" (in German). Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. 2006. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  8. ^ "Erkki-Sven Tüür". home.wanadoo.nl. 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  9. ^ "Christine Mielitz" (in German). Lewin Management. 2010. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  10. ^ Stefan Schmöe (2005). "Christines kleine Dortmunder Farbenlehre" (in German). Online Music Magazine. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  11. ^ Stefan Schmöe (2006). "Siegfried-Metamorphosen" (in German). Online Music Magazine. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Wagner Performance Diary 2007". The Wagner Society. Retrieved 20 August 2010. 
  13. ^ Julia Gaß (18 May 2010). "Henzes "Junger Lord" ist ein operettenhafter Spaß" (in German). Ruhr-Nachrichten. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 
  14. ^ Ursula Decker-Bönniger (2010). "Falstaff" (in German). Online Music Magazine. Retrieved 28 August 2010. 


  • Theaterbau Dortmund 1966, Städtische Bühnen Dortmund

External links[edit]