Photo by: Andrey Anisimov
Photo by: Andrey Anisimov

Course raises the curtain on Frankfurt’s opera scene

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

A good handful of German cities within easy reach to our military stationed in Germany – Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Kaiserslautern, Mainz, Mannheim, Stuttgart and Wiesbaden for starters –offer world-class theater experiences, from plays to ballet to opera, nearly every day of the week.


In terms of theatrical productions, dialogue spoken in a foreign tongue can pose a challenge, whereas the visual ballet and vocal opera is more easily absorbed through the other senses. While opera’s rather elitist reputation might make it a put-off to some at first glance, there are ways to learn the difference between an aside and an encore without a four-year conservatory education.


A class titled Frankfurt OperaTalk, offered at the Frankfurter Volkshochschule in the spring semester of 2019, can help those curious about this genre of entertainment as it plays out in Germany’s financial capital today. The course, conducted entirely in English, is geared to novices and experts alike. Oftentimes an English-speaking singer or musician will be on hand to answer questions about current opera productions and life on the international opera circuit. As entertainers’ busy schedules of travel and rehearsals are subject to last-minute changes, no guarantees are made in terms of who exactly will be present on a given day.


OperaTalk, conducted in cooperation with Oper Frankfurt, is offered on five Monday evenings from February through May. The course, which begins at 6:30 p.m. and runs until 8:45 p.m. on all days, takes place on Feb. 25, March 18, April 1, April 29 and May 13. The course fee is 56 euros. Registration remains possible until such time as the course reaches maximum capacity or two weeks following its start date, whichever comes first.


The course is led by Don Porsché, an American who served in the military prior to settling in Frankfurt some decades ago. Porsché notes that attendees of previous editions of the course have had U.S. military connections, and he’d be delighted to welcome a new batch into this course which attracts curious minds from around the globe.

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