Domstufen – Festspiele Erfurt
See. Hear. Experience
The new building of the Theater Erfurt opened in 2003 and may be counted among the most modern venues in Europe. The Thuringian capital’s opera house is only a stone’s throw away from the medieval ensemble of the Mariendom (Erfurt Cathedral), the Severikirche (Church of St. Severus) and a baroque fortress called the Zitadelle Petersberg. Culture enthusiasts from near and far flock to approximately 480 events each year, including sumptuous operas and operettas, festive concerts, ambitious plays and more.
However, it is not just the remarkable productions of the Theater Erfurt – often created in collaboration with international opera houses – that are worth seeing, but also the new building itself. The orthogonal structure of its exterior encompasses a voluminous, round sculpture in the interior that can be reached by bridges in the foyer. Like a guarded treasure, the impressive, free-standing sculpture seems to watch over the real setting of events: the theater’s Main Auditorium with 800 seats.
The glass foyer connects the exterior space with the inside of the opera house, inviting viewers to meander and opening interesting vantage points to the cathedral and to Petersberg. The Studio, used for plays and cabaret evenings among other events, offers an additional 200 seats. The building’s inner courtyard can be converted into a “Theatrium,” a charming, open air venue.
An excellent view from every seat is accompanied by optimal listening pleasure, as the acoustics in the new building correspond to the highest technical standards. Consequently, attending opera and concerts at the Theater Erfurt is always a first-rate experience. The Erfurt Philharmonic Orchestra also regularly holds concerts at other locations. Chamber concerts in the civic festival room at Erfurt’s city hall have become an institution and concerts on the cathedral square, for instance to celebrate the Krämerbrückenfest (a local June festival), draw tens of thousands of visitors under its spell.
The DomStufen-Festspiele has also made a resounding name for itself far beyond the boundaries of Thuringia and Germany. Each year in summer the Theater Erfurt organizes this special open air festival before the breathtaking backdrop of the Mariendom, in which Martin Luther was once ordained as a priest, transforming the 70 steps on the cathedral square into a stage for operas and musicals.