German society invests heavily in the creative arts as a whole, with this mind set seeping down to the importance of cultural institutions at local levels throughout Ruhr. The result is national, state and local funding to a relatively high standard and sometimes surprisingly broad divergence.
Essen boasts the renowned Alvar Aalto building, a stunning opera house, which forms the beautiful venue for classical opera and some terrific jazz. The Finnish designer was up there with Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier in his day.
Opportunities are available for film lovers to see original language movies in a few movie theaters (theatres) where cinema operators screen films in English and some other languages. Terms such as OV, OmU, OmdU, OmdtU are used to denote original version and with subtitles (Untertiteln).
A rather special place to experience opera is in the Aalto Music Theater in Essen. The architectural style of the interior conjures up a timeless aura, complementing the unfolding of scenes on the stage. Other locations to enjoy opera include the towns of Dortmund, Duisburg and Hagen.
February 14-20: Original language movies in Ruhr in English: Alita: Battle Angel, The Mule, Green Book, The Favourite, The Wife, Mary Queen of Scots, Bohemian Rhapsody, Harald & Maude.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of classical music is the vast repertoire of different styles from many eras that most orchestras and ensembles are able to perform. The Essener Philharmoniker are a delight to hear, as are the wide variety of musicians in Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg and Hagen.