Essen’s cultural landscape is complemented by versatile performances in theaters and cabarets. An ideal way to unwind and be entertained after spending the day at the trade fair.
The Aalto Theater is best described as magnificent. The opera house always occupies the top spots in critics’ polls. At its opening in 1988 it was called “the most beautiful theater design” since 1945, and today it is also among the best in Germany.
The total work of art was designed according to plans by the Finnish master architect Alvar Aalto. The modern, curved architecture captures the imagination. The unfussy and elegant hall can accommodate an audience of 1,125. The globally renowned opera singers are framed in heavenly blue and light wood.
The Essen Philharmonic and the Aalto Ballet Theater Essen are equally talented. They also consistently receive top rankings.
With the Essen Philharmonic, a new concert hall was created in the style of a traditional roofed hall. Thanks to the high-profile programme with orchestras and world-class artists, cutting-edge technology and fantastic acoustics, the Essen Philharmonic is one of the best concert halls in Europe.
The completely renovated Alfried Krupp Hall (1,906 seats) is the centerpiece of the building. The RWE pavilion (350 seats), whose glass cube design has a view overlooking the city garden, provides an excellent setting for jazz and classical music, world music and lectures, receptions or celebrations.
After renovation, the three colourful civil halls radiate their former glory: The finest satinwood, enamel inlays and ceramic treasures create an exquisite atmosphere for a pleasant concert evening.
The GOP Varieté Theater Essen has been significantly enriching the impressive cultural landscape of the Ruhr region since 1996. This is a hub for the international elite of variety shows. A new modern, innovative show production is presented every two months.
The individual artistic performances, linked by a common theme, lead audiences into a new world again and again. Whether it’s peaceful and poetic or features a lot of energy and vitality, each show offers a different experience. A dreamlike atmosphere, fascinating shows, excellent food - this is the triad which makes the GOP Varieté Theater a special place. Located directly in the Essen city centre, guests can experience the best in entertainment in a modern ambiance.
The theater’s repertoire begins with classical dramatic texts and extends to the works of contemporary authors and experimental forms of theater. The focus of the programme is on modern classic productions from Shakespeare to Schiller and Ibsen along with contemporary works.
The Grillo Theater represents young, unpretentious drama. The neoclassical building is named after the industrialist Friedrich Grillo who financed the construction in 1887. The Casa studio stage chooses to host performances that address and respond to the way of life of young people.
The red carpet has already been replaced several times since the days when Gary Cooper, Buster Keaton or Romy Schneider tread upon it. Nevertheless, the grand old lady of cinemas has lost none of its charm since its opening in 1928. That is why, even today, stars such as Pierce Brosnan, Wim Wenders or Joachim Król come to the Lichtburg for premieres and film galas.
With 1,250 seats, the legendary cinema is Germany’s biggest movie palace.
As a former mechanical workshop for Krupp, the Colosseum Theater is a perfect example of the industrial culture and the transformation of the region. The building, which is probably one of the most interesting theaters in Germany, formerly marked the border of the city center to the Krupp town. From here they ruled the mining industry and monopolised the production of steel.
The unique atmosphere of the structure is created by the simultaneous presence of the past and present: The landmarked hall with its industrial relics is now adorned with modern art and elegant design. The Colosseum is a venue for various performances from musicals to opera.