Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

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Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe

The Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe is a theatre and opera house in Karlsruhe, Germany. It has existed in its present form and place at Ettlinger Tor since 1975. Achim Thorwald became the “Intendant” (Artistic director) in the summer of 2002, retiring at the end of the 2010/11 season, and being replaced by Peter Spuhler from the 2011/12 season onwards.

The Staatstheater is a Dreisparten house, comprising the three performance genres of music theatre, ballet and theatre, as well as the studio stage in Karlstraße. The Badische Staatskapelle (orchestra) and the Badische Staatsopernchor (opera chorus) are attached to the theatre.


The first predecessor of the Badischen Staatstheater was built in 1808 by the then city architect Friedrich Weinbrenner, near the castle. In 1810 it became the Großherzoglichen Hoftheater (court theatre).

A fire broke out during a performance on February 28, 1847, in which the building, which had been built mostly from wood and canvas, was completely destroyed. A total of 63 spectators perished, most in a panic caused by doors opening inwards and preventing a speedy escape. Building regulations worldwide have since been adapted to prevent such occurrences. The replacement theatre, built by court architect Heinrich Hübsch, was finished in 1853, and opened under the direction of Eduard Devrient.

During an aerial bombardment in 1944, the Hoftheater was destroyed again. The site is now occupied by the German Federal Constitutional Court. It took until 1964 for plans to be drawn up for the current building, which was completed in 1975.

Since 1977, the works of baroque composer Georg Friedrich Händel have been presented in a special format each year: between 1978 and 1984, "Händel days" took place. In 1985 these became the Händel Festival, which occurs yearly in February, on the birthday of the composer, February 23; the thirtieth anniversary was celebrated in 2007.



  • Much of the information in this article is taken directly from the German Wikipedia article.
  • Artistic director: The “(General-) Intendant” Peter Spuhler (born 1965 in Berlin), not to be confused with Swiss politician Peter Spuhler. See Spuhler

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