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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Images and videos

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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