Opernhaus Düsseldorf - Charming jewel of the fifties bordering the historic center
Seen poetically, it is the Rhine which links Opernhaus Düsseldorf with the Theater Duisburg. In practical terms it is a fleet of buses, transporters and semitrailers, plying between the two locations of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and bringing artists, costumes and scenery to where the next rehearsal or performance takes place. Since its opening in 1956 the Deutsche Oper am Rhein has worked in theatrical union. Compatible dimensions permit giving opera and ballet performances both in the Opernhaus Düsseldorf and in the Theater Duisburg.
Opernhaus Düsseldorf in Heinrich Heine Allee enjoys an attractive location on the edge of the historic centre between Hofgarten and Königsallee, and can be reached on foot from the Rhine Promenade. It was here that the new Municipal Theatre was opened in 1975 after plans of the architect Ernst Giese. The building with its round façade and 1260 seats had similarities in harking back to Italian Renaissance style with such other representative buildings as the Semper opera in Dresden. In 1943 the theatre was severely damaged in two air raids. After the War there ensued a period of interim solutions, until the opera house attained its present form in the mid Fifties. Extensive conversion after plans by the architects Julius Schulte Frohlinde (1894 – 1968), Paul Bonatz (1877 – 1956) and Ernst Huhn (1894 – 1964) were to correct hasty postwar improvisations and define the apppearance of the opera house anew. The house front with its unpretentious façade, the fine arcs of the foyer stairways and numerous other stylistic elements from the Fifties are today listed as national monuments. The City of Düsseldorf saw to extensive renovation between 2006 and 2007. The backstage technical machinery, dating from 1955, was replaced by a precisely controlled system. Building, working conditions and safety installations also now all comply to the most modern standards. A visible annexe to the house is the light-flooded rehearsal hall for ballet and orchestra. Its ten metres high and eight metres wide glass front faces Hofgarten and Königsallee. Maximum auditorium capacity today is 1.296 seats. The basement underneath it houses the storage space for some fifty thousand costumes – a special attraction for those making a guided tour of the Opernhaus.