17 July 2016

Dawdling in Dresden: The Semperoper

The last thing we saw in Dresden before heading back to Berlin was the Semperoper. This is the opera house in Dresden, sitting smack right in the middle of the Old Town. There is a tram that runs in front of it, which was the one we always took to go back to our hotel in the outskirts. It was always pretty seeing the majestic opera house in the evening, when it was lit up.

Anyway, on our last day, we stopped by the ticket office in the morning, and bought tickets for the English guided tour of the opera house. After strolling around the city for the morning, we went back, and then we sat at the steps, right in time for the opening of the gates which we would enter, to see the grand interior of the building.

The first thing visitors would see is the foyer area. The pictures above depict this area, and as our tour guide said, during the heyday of the opera, this was the place to be seen. The opera house was built in 1841, but was destroyed by a fire in 1869. It was rebuilt in 1878, but would be destroyed again during WWII. It would be rebuilt again in 1985, which is the structure that stands today.

The above pictures show the auditorium. Unlike other opera houses, I didn't notice a privileged box near the stage. Instead, the most expensive part of the auditorium is right in the back, directly facing the stage. Other opera houses had a royal box next to the stage, mostly on the left side, but this one didn't have that.

When we were touring, there was a rehearsal happening on stage. The light people were checking whether their lights were correctly functioning.

It would have been nice to see a performance here. I later learned that there were plenty of operas that were premiered in this location, mostly from Wagner and Richard Strauss. While I haven't seen many operas, I can imagine how interesting it would be to spend an evening in a splendid location like this.


  1. Oh my! I just love how grand the interior looks like. The details on the roof and everything is just breathtaking! Fabulous!

    1. Charles,

      Yes, fabulous indeed! I would love to see a performance in here someday!

  2. One of my friends is touring Europe right now, and she mentioned she went to the opera several times in Austria for the experience, of course, but also because the tickets were so cheap. I haven't been in years... I should see what's playing next time I'm in France.

    1. Zhu,

      I wonder how much tickets are in Austria normally. Here in Berlin the operas begin at around 30 EUR for the cheapest seats!