Music: The Koblenz Idea

Plenty of European cities are luring tourists with serious music this summer, but Koblenz (pop.: 92,000) has a different idea. Koblenz offers a big pontoon stage on a quiet inlet of the Rhine, bleachers ashore for 3,000 spectators and snack bars plastered with Coca-Cola signs. It promotes itself as "The City of the Operetta Festival." The single operetta to be staged all this summer: a jazzed-up version of Johann Strauss the Younger's A Thousand and One Nights.

Koblenz keeps it largely a home-town production. The local Rhine Philharmonic, a 40-piece orchestra, is the musical...

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