• Coverage Portal - Summer of 2018 - Opera Houses in German-speaking Areas

    Two Opera Lively journalists - James Wieber and Luiz Gazzola - covered numerous operas and interviewed artists and administrators in several opera companies located in German-speaking areas of Central Europe (and one in Slovakia) in the Summer of 2018. Like we did for the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence and for a previous trip to Berlin in 2016, we published a portal that centralizes the links to the various performance reviews, interviews, pictorial travel blogs, and brief hotel and restaurant recommendations, which will be helpful to our readers if they also travel to these areas in the future.


    Staatstheater Nürnberg

    We have posted beautiful pictures of the cities we have visited.

    Scroll down for the links, below.

    Performance Reviews

    These are the opera companies and cities we have visited, in order, and the operas we have attended:

    Luiz Gazzola

    Wiener Staatsoper - Vienna, Austria
    6/28 - Der Freischütz (Weber) - review ready [here]
    6/29 - day trip to Bratislava, see below
    6/30 - Falstaff (Verdi) - review ready [here]

    Slovak National Theater - Bratislava, Slovakia
    6/29 - Don Giovanni (Mozart) - review ready [here]

    Salzburg, Austria
    7/1 - A visit to Mozart's birthplace and Mozart's residence; no operas are being performed on the day we were there - A report of the visits to the museums is [here] (ready).

    Bayerische Staatsoper - Munich, Germany
    7/1 - Parsifal (Wagner) - review ready [here]
    7/2 - Der Fliegende Höllander (Wagner) - review ready [here]

    Staatstheater Nürnberg - Nuremberg, Germany
    7/3 - Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini) - review ready [here]

    Opernhaus Zürich - Zurich, Switzerland
    7/4 - Carmen (Bizet) - review ready [here]
    7/5 - L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi) - review ready [here]
    7/6 - La Traviata (Verdi) - review ready [here]

    Deutsche Oper Berlin - Berlin, Germany
    7/7 - La Gioconda (Ponchielli) - review ready [here]

    Staatsoper Unter den Linden - Berlin, Germany
    7/8 - L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi - not the same production as Zurich's) - review ready [here]
    7/9 - Ti vedo, ti sento, mi perdo (contemporary opera by Salvatore Sciarrino) - review ready [here]

    Komische Oper Berlin - Berlin, Germany
    7/10 - Semele (Handel) - link to the review [here] (ready)
    7/11 - Die Gezeichneten (Schreker) - link to the review [here] (ready)
    7/12 - Pelléas et Mélisande (Debussy) - link to the review [here] (ready)
    7/13 - Bluebeard (Offenbach) - link to the review [here] (ready)

    Final ranking of all 16 performances, by Luiz: click [here].

    James Wieber (all confirmed):

    Jim was in Berlin for about three weeks. Two of these productions are the same that are being attended by Luiz (one of them, the same performance; the other one, a different date). Our readers will have two points of view for these two productions.

    6/22 Il Viaggio a Reims (Rossini) - Deutsche Oper - link to the review [here] (ready)
    6/26 Faust (Gounod) - Deutsche Oper - link to the review [here] (ready)
    6/29 Macbeth (Verdi) - Staatsoper (w/Netrebko, Domingo) - link to the review [here] (ready)
    7/1 Orfeo ed Euridice (Glück) - Staatsoper (w/Valer Sabadus) - link to the review [here] (ready)
    7/6 The Nose (Shostakovich) - Komische Oper - link to the review [here] (ready)
    7/11 Die Gezeichneten (Schreker) - Komische Oper - future link to the review [here] (ready)
    7/12 L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Monteverdi) - Staatsoper - link to the review [here] (ready)

    Exclusive Interviews with Artists and Administrators

    One interview with a composer was done earlier, in anticipation of the trip. Twenty other interviews were completed during the trip.

    Salvatore Sciarrino, composer of Ti vedo, ti sendo, mi perdo - [here] (ready)
    Singer Julie Fuchs - [here] (ready)
    Singer Jonas Kaufmann - [here] (ready)
    Slavomír Jakubek - Director of the Slovak National Theater Opera - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Andreas Homoki, Intendant, Opernhaus Zürich - future link to the interview [here] (ready)
    Dominique Meyer, Intendant, Wiener Staatsoper - [here] (ready)
    Johann Casimir Eule, deputy of Staatsintendant Peter Theiler (Nürnberg) - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Veteran retired singer Siegfried Jerusalem - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Singer Daniela Barcellona - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Singer Stéphanie D'Oustrac - future link to the interview [here] (done, transcribed, pending approval of the text by the opera house)
    Singers Ales Jenis and Peter Kellner - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Singer Ambrosio Maestri - future link to the interview [here] (ready)
    Singer Ludwig Mittelhammer - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Singer Michael Nagi - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Singer Nora Friedrichs - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Singer Nadja Mchantaf - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Singer Nicole Chevalier - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)

    Singer Roberta Mameli - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Singer Otto Katzameier - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)
    Singer Laura Aikin - future link to the interview [here] (done, pending transcription)

    Due to a number of unexpected problems that are not the fault of the artists or the opera companies, which included illness, the transcription and publicaton of some of these interviews got greatly delayed (by months), and will be dripping in little by little.

    Pictorial Blogs

    - Vienna - links to the pictures [here] and [here]
    - Bratislava - link to the pictures [here]
    - Salzburg - link to the pictures [here]
    - Munich - link to the pictures in two parts [here]
    - Nuremberg - link to the pictures [here]
    - Zurich - link to the pictures in three parts, [here], [here], and [here]
    - Berlin - link to the pictures [here]

    Hotels and Restaurants / transportation

    - To help future travelers, we published reviews of hotels and restaurants enjoyed during the trip. Displacements between all cities will be by train except from Zurich to Berlin which will be by airplane with Swissair. An appreciation of how easy and convenient these transportation methods are (or not), is also included - link to this information [here] (ready).

    Hotels are all at very close proximity to the opera houses (one to five blocks away), and are:

    Vienna: Derag Livinghotel an der Opera
    Bratislava: day trip only, no hotel
    Salzburg: day trip only, no hotel
    Munich: Apartments & Hotel Maximilian
    Nuremberg: Maritim Hotel Nürnberg
    Zurich: Hotel Opera Zürich
    Berlin: the first night, close to the Deutsche, the next 6 nights, close to the Komische and the Staatsoper: Ibis Style an der Opera (first night), then Clipper City Home Berlin

    The link above contains much more detailed descriptions, but the short story is the following:

    Overall, all the above hotels were good enough, and convenient. There were a few glitches. Some pros and cons: at the Ibis Style an der Opera in Berlin, they tried at first to give me a room without air conditioning, although I had pre-paid for one with AC. After some back-and-forth they recognized their error and moved me to the correct room. This is a basic hotel, with tiny rooms, and breakfast that is not luxurious but is decent enough. For a major city like Berlin, this hotel charges very cheap fees, and is good enough if all that you want is a place to sleep, three blocks from the Deutsche. The Derag Livinghotel an der Opera in Vienna is oldish and it does show the age to a certain degree, but it is still quite good, with a very spacious room. I did not try their breakfast (not included). Rooms have kitchens. The Apartments & Hotel Maximillian in Munich is excellent, with nice rooms, great breakfast, and a very good Italian restaurant downstairs. This is the place to be, to attend the Bayerische. The Maritim Hotel Nürnberg is very comfortable and quite luxurious, the most upscale hotel of the trip. The breakfast spread is one of the best I've ever seen in my life. The Hotel Opera Zürich has tiny rooms, and is overpriced. Nobody can beat the location, though: it is literally one block from the opera house. If you don't mind the tiny living quarters, everything else is good enough at this hotel. I did not try their breakfast (just got some pastry and orange juice from a bakery nearby). Across the street, they own a full-service chef-driven restaurant with a good reputation; I once had lunch there but found the food to be just so-so. Other better restaurants do exist in that block. The Clipper City Home Berlin is great - huge room, more like an apartment, and the location is excellent, right in the middle of the stretch that goes from the Komische to the Staatsoper. It is not a full-service hotel, though; it's more like residential apartments. The front desk has limited hours, and there is no other service like breakfast or room service, and housekeeping cleans the room only once every three days. The rooms have a fully equipped kitchen. The tiny lobby does have a door that opens to a neighboring independent Italian restaurant, and they serve breakfast at a discounted price to hotel guests, and their food at dinner is quite good. Even though it's not a full-service hotel, I quite liked it.

    By order of quality/luxury, I'd rank these hotels this way:

    1. Maritim Hotel Nürnberg
    2. Apartments & Hotel Maximillian in Munich
    3. Clipper City Home Berlin
    4. Derag Livinghotel an der Opera in Vienna
    5. Hotel Opera Zürich
    6. Ibis Style an der Opera in Berlin
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
      Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) -
      I said I'd post bumps to this article as the reviews get done and forgot to do so. I'm doing it now; we are mid-way through the trip. Four reviews by James Wieber and eight by Luiz Gazzola have been published. Twelve interviews have been done, and are pending transcription, except one that has been published already. Six more to go.
    1. Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
      Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) -
      Five reviews by James Wieber and thirteen by Luiz Gazzola have been published; updates to the the transportation, hotels, and restaurants thread have been entered.
    1. Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
      Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) -
      This portal is now almost complete. All sixteen reviews by Luiz have been finished, and Jim has done most of his, still pending two of them. The interviews will be processed little by little and the links to them will be updated. The hotels and restaurants reviews are done too.

      A final ranking of all performances seen by Luiz has been reported [here].
    1. Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
      Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) -
      Another interview is ready and was added today, with Julie Fuchs who sang the title role of Poppea at Opernhaus Zürich. [here]
    1. Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
      Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) -
      Another interview with the great Jonas Kaufmann is ready and the link has been added to the portal, above.
    1. Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva)'s Avatar
      Luiz Gazzola (Almaviva) -
      An interview with the Vienna State Opera general director (Intendant) Dominique Meyer was added today to the links above.

      [here]
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