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Opera is a burning issue in Frankfurt in more ways than one. Outsiders tend to associate it with the Alte Oper or the Opernbühne, but both were completely destroyed in the World War II. A new building was opened in 1951 but burned to the ground in 1987, being reopened some four years later. The stucco sculpting on the ceiling of the foyer is of particular architectural interest. The works of the six operatic stalwarts are staged here more than anything else, though they also alternate with more recent composers. Instead of a permanent program, the Oper Frankfurt currently employs a staggione system, staging performances in groups. The reputation of the opera house used to be a cut above the rest, but is on the wane as a result of internal disputes, despite some spectacular productions.
The Alte Oper or the Old Opera House still looks as magnificent and imposing as it did when it was opened by Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1880. The building was financed by wealthy Frankfurt citizens and was designed in an Italian Renaissance style by Richard Lucae. Destroyed in a 1944 air raid, it was rebuilt later and renamed the 'Old Opera Concert and Conference Center'. The main auditorium, the Grosser Saal with seating for about 3417 people, is the central part of the building and is used for concerts and musical extravaganzas. Smaller rooms can be hired for functions, conferences, corporate events, receptions, product launches and so on. Visitors can obtain refreshments in the café, the restaurant or the bistro.
Tucked away on the southern part of the beautiful Palmengarten, Gesellschaftshaus Palmengarten is among the most elegant venues in Frankfurt am Main's Westend district. This 19th-century building was built in 1869 by Friedrich Kaysser in the Neo-Renaissance style of architecture, but suffered damages in certain sections during the World War I. This resulted a reconstruction of certain areas in the structure that have a Bauhaus style to it. The magnificent Festsaal with its restored Neo-Renaissance elements is a grand place for balls, concerts, award ceremonies and galas. The Emporensaal on the other hand, with its Wilhelminian Era design is ideal for weddings and special occasions. Raum Orchidee and Raum Lilie are graceful function rooms with terraces. Enjoy Viennese delights in Caféhaus Siesmayer or fine dining at the Lafleur Restaurant which are also located in the complex.
Mathildenhöhe is a popular event venue in the city that dates back to the 19th Century. Established as a garden in 1833, the venue is named after Mathilde Karoline Friederike von Wittelsbach, the wife of Ludwig III. In the 1870s, a chapel was built on the site. In 1899 the Künstlerkolonie was founded in Mathildenhöhe. It also comprises of the Hochzeitsturm and other exhibition buildings. Today, it hosts a slew of workshops, local events, cultural programs, exhibitions and special shows directed towards children.