When I lived in Germany, I remembered the ads for Radeberger Pilsner, and I wondered about some of the venues shown. I realized the buildings were in the famous city of Dresden on the Elbe river in southeast Germany, and the city of Radeberg was only 15 kilometres from Dresden. Images of the Dresden’s landmarks have been an important part of Radeberger brewery’s advertising campaign to show the beer’s exceptional quality and to associate that very same quality by (physical) proximity with the symbolism of Dresden’s historic landmarks.
Dresdner Wahrzeichen | Dresden Landmark
As one of the city’s most well-known landmarks, the Semperoper (Semper Opera House) appears in countless images representing Dresden. The Semperoper is the showpiece structure at Theaterplatz (Theater Square) looking over the river Elbe in the city’s Altstadt (Old Town). The first version of the building opened in 1841 with the design provided by Gottfried Semper. After destruction by fire in 1869, the second version of the building, also to Semper’s design, was completed in 1878. Only the Semperoper’s outer facade remained in 1945 during the final stages of the Second World War. Built once again to Semper’s original designs, the third and present version of the Semperoper opened to great acclaim on 13 February 1985. The interiors were reconstructed according to original plans and designs, whereas stage machinery and technical and engineering requirements are all updated to the best standards in audio quality.
With the leading title “Sächsische Staatstheater-Staatsoper und Staatsschauspiel Dresden”, the opera house is home to the Saxon State Opera, the Saxon State Theatre, the Semperoper Ballet, and one of the world’s oldest orchestras, the Staatskapelle Dresden, founded by Prince Elector Moritz von Sachsen in 1548.
The Semper Oper is a natural part of any walking tour of Dresden, as Theaterplatz is minutes from the Zwinger, Residenzschloss, and the Frauenkirche. I’m awed by the night tour, a chance to see up close the building’s Baroque style exterior and the classic ornate interior. Everybody speaks in calm hushed voices, the unspoken agreement to be mindful and respectful of this venue. Despite the presence of other people in other tour groups, it feels like I have the Opera House to myself at 11pm.
The following is an advertisement for Radeberger brewery. The advert for their Pilsener ends with an image of Dresden’s Semper Oper at night and the slogan “schon immer besonders.”