The Groundbreaking Education Work of Deutsche Oper am Rhein

27 October, 2017

The Deutsche Oper am Rhein Düsseldorf Duisburg GmbH is a theatre community serving the cities of Düsseldorf and Duisburg that represents a lengthy tradition of collaboration between these two urban centres. Its two venues, with a total of 2,400 seats, stage over 260 events a year between them.

General Director Prof. Christoph Meyer has been responsible for the Deutsche Oper am Rhein’s artistic programme since 2009 along with Music Director Axel Kober and Martin Schläpfer as Ballet Director and Chief Choreographer.  The leading team was joined by Alexandra Stampler-Brown as Managing Director in 2014 and Remus Şucheană as Ballet Director alongside Martin Schläpfer in 2016.

The Ballett am Rhein directed by Martin Schläpfer and Remus Şucheană is one of Europe’s leading companies.

In order to promote young choreographers, in 2015/16 Martin Schläpfer initiated the artistic platform ‘Young Moves’ which offers dancers within the ensemble an annual opportunity to choreograph their own pieces with the professional support of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein and to present them on one of the main stages in Düsseldorf or Duisburg.

A distinctive feature of the Deutsche Oper am Rhein’s work is its extensive and varied programme for young audiences. Considerable efforts are devoted to the large-scale family operas that are presented on both stages in Duisburg and Düsseldorf. These are supplemented by smaller foyer productions such as ‘The Magic Flute for Children’, a series of age-appropriate projects and a wide-range of educational packages.  In its 2013/14 season the Deutsche Oper am Rhein initiated a co-operation with Oper Dortmund and Theater Bonn entitled “Junge Opern Rhein-Ruhr”. This project, which is unique in Germany, aims to create an enthusiasm for music theatre amongst children and young people by composing new works especially for them. The children’s opera ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ by Gerald Resch in 2016/17 was the fourth commissioned opera to be presented in Düsseldorf, Duisburg and the two other commissioning cities. A new commissioned composition is already in preparation for 2017/18.

The Deutsche Oper am Rhein plays a prominent part in the cultural life of two cities with contrasting images. As the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf is one of the five most significant economic centres in Germany and has a strong network of international links. The city is well known for fashion, shopping, culture and hosting events and as a lifestyle destination on the Rhine. The river Rhine connects Düsseldorf with Duisburg, the city with the largest inland harbour in the world and a richly varied history. Both cities are keen to acknowledge their “theatrical marriage” that has lasted over 60 years, enabling both of them to present high culture while simultaneously demonstrating one of the most cost-effective theatre organizations in the country.

Photos © DOR/Susanne Diesner/Marina Rasschaert