2 May 2014 at 5.45pm | 1 Comment
Munich is the capital of Bavaria and was Richard Strauss’s birthplace.
Smaller than either Berlin or Vienna, Munich nonetheless enjoyed a cultural renaissance during the latter part of the 19th and the early years of the 20th century.
Before the construction of the Festspielhaus at Bayreuth, Wagner had used Munich as the staging post for his operas. The city was also home to artists including Franz von Lenbach and Franz Stuck, Bavaria’s answer to Gustav Klimt. Writers too were drawn to the city, with Thomas Mann (the writer of the novella Death in Venice, which inspired Britten's opera of the same name) moving to the city in 1891.
Strauss was born on 11 June 1864 in a second-floor apartment on Altheimer Eck, a street right in the heart of the city, adjacent to Strauss’s paternal grandfather’s brewery. Sadly the building, like much of Munich and Dresden, was destroyed in World War II. Pschorr’s beer lives on however, meaning that 150 years on from the composer's birth, you can still sample Strauss's ancestral tipple.
2014 sees the 150th anniversary of Richard Strauss’s birth. The composer is celebrated at the ROH with stagings of Die Frau ohne Schatten (which ran until 2 April 2014) and Ariadne auf Naxos (25 June-13 July). Tickets for Ariadne auf Naxos are still available.