Besucher im Musiktheater, © Thomas Robbin

Mu­siktheat­er im Re­vi­er

An ar­chi­tec­tur­al work of art in Gelsen­kirchen

Yves Klein and oth­er well-known artists de­signed the Mu­siktheat­er im Re­vi­er (“mu­sic­al theatre in the coal dis­trict”), a place where art and ar­chi­tec­ture merge in­to an im­press­ive whole.

The Mu­siktheat­er im Re­vi­er (MIR), which opened in 1959, is re­garded as one of the most im­port­ant theatre build­ings of the post-war era. It is loc­ated on the Kennedy­platz square in the heart of Gelsen­kirchen, and con­tains the Großes Haus (large theatre), now with 1,008 seats, and the Kleines Haus (small theatre) with 336 seats.

The mu­sic­al theatre, which is well known far bey­ond the Ruhr area, has its own op­era en­semble, its own choir and a well-known bal­let en­semble. The theatre hosts mainly op­er­as, mu­sic­als and oper­et­tas.

Ar­chi­tec­ture and art

The theatre, which was built un­der the guid­ance of ar­chi­tect Wern­er Ruh­nau, is fam­ous for its par­tic­u­lar com­bin­a­tion of ar­chi­tec­ture and art. Renowned artists were in­volved in the plan­ning right from the start. The artists in­clude Yves Klein, who de­signed the ?Gelsen­kirchen­er Blau? (Gelsen­kirchen blue) mur­al re­lief in the foy­er of the large theatre, and Jean Tinguely, who de­signed the side walls of the foy­er in the small theatre as a mov­able in­stall­a­tion.

Oth­er works of art are the tube sculp­ture by Norbert Kricke on the out­er wall of the small theatre, the edgy white con­crete re­lief of the tick­et of­fice in front of the main build­ing by Robert Adams, and the plaster re­lief by Paul Di­erkes on the round wall of the foy­er in the large theatre.

The body of the theatre, which is a lis­ted build­ing, con­sists of a large cuboid on a square ground plan, which opens onto the fore­court with its glass façade. In the even­ing and at night in par­tic­u­lar, the il­lu­min­ated ro­tunda of the large theatre is an eye catch­er vis­ible from far away, which shines through the glass façade. In con­trast to the edgy form of the ex­ter­i­or, the aud­it­or­i­ums are gently curved and of­fer the best pos­sible view from all seats.


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Be inspired: images of your NRW

Beeindruckende Architektur von Außen, © Thomas Robbin
Das Musiktheater im Revier in Gelsenkirchen, © Stadtmarketing Gesellschaft Gelsenkirchen mbH
Besucher im Musiktheater, © Thomas Robbin
Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen Unterwegs im Theater, © Thomas Robbin
Das Musiktheater von Vorne, © Thomas Robbin

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