Guide to Komische Oper Berlin

April 2017
Evening performance
Matinee performance
« ...with its 1947 re-opening the Komische Oper established a tradition for itself that all opera performances in the house would be sung in the German language. This policy was created in order to bring opera directly to the German 'Volk'. Australian Director Barrie Kosky has subtly broken with this tradition in his tenure [but] no one seems to mind. Sold out performances are quite common these days at the Komische Oper, Eugene Onegin being no exception. Many hopeful people were standing in line to purchase an unclaimed ticket Saturday night. »
Karen Hunter Bachtrack, February 2016
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BerlinBall im Savoy

Abraham: Ball im Savoy
David Cavelius; Barrie Kosky; Komische Oper Berlin; Klaus Grünberg; Esther Bialas; Otto Pichler

BerlinDon Giovanni

Mozart: Don Giovanni
Henrik Nánási; Herbert Fritsch; Komische Oper Berlin; Victoria Behr; Franck Evin

BerlinL'incoronazione di Poppea, SV 308

Monteverdi: L'incoronazione di Poppea, SV 308
Matthew Toogood; Barrie Kosky; Komische Oper Berlin; Katrin Lea Tag; Katharina Tasch; Alexander Koppelmann

BerlinTonight or Never

Spoliansky: Tonight or Never
Kai Tietje; Stefan Huber; Komische Oper Berlin; Heike Seidler; Danny Costello; Johanna Wall; Diego Leetz


Bizet: Carmen
Aziz Shokhakimov; Sebastian Baumgarten; Komische Oper Berlin; Thilo Reuther; Ellen Hofmann; Franck Evin; Jan Speckenbach

BerlinSorochyntsy FairNew Production

Mussorgsky: Sorochyntsy Fair
Henrik Nánási; Barrie Kosky; Komische Oper Berlin; Katrin Lea Tag; Tom Erik Lie; Jens Larsen
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Komische Oper's Zauberflöte enchants Budapest

With a guest performance of the Komische Oper Berlin, Barrie Kosky's and Suzanne Andrade's magical production triumphs in Budapest.
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The devil made me do it

Sorochyntsi Fair was last performed at Berlin's Komische Oper in 1948 by the legendary stage director Walter Felsenstein. Now Barrie Kosky, stage director and intendant, has tried his hand.
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Beyond mere technical wizardry: Petrushka at the Komische Oper

Could this be the most perfect fusion of music and visuals known to mankind!?
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A Kosky Berliner Schnauze: Die Perlen der Cleopatra

A hilarious pearl of an operetta. Barry Kosky reigns supreme in Berlin!
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Fantasy and nightmare: Rusalka at Komische Oper

Barrie Kosky's 2011 production confines the action of the opera to a stark white room. A fine ensemble of singers made for a successful evening.
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Confronting the millennial generation at Komische Oper

Before the beginning of each opera, an announcement is made reminding the audience not to film, photograph, tweet, post, google, snapchat... Komische Oper Berlin premieres a hilarious Barber of Seville where the singers do nothing but just that.
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Since the construction of the venue in Behrenstraße (which opened as the “Theater Unter den Linden” in 1892, re-operning as the “Metropol-Theater” in 1898 after bankruptcy), the Komische Oper Berlin has at various times been a consistent international trend-setter in the world of musical theatre. As the leading theatre for operettas and revues in the 1920s, it fundamentally shaped the Berlin, and hence international, entertainment scene. Following the Second World War, Walter Felsenstein’s concept of musical theatre revolutionised European opera, and to this day it remains an important point of reference for the great majority of musical theatre directors seeking to be contemporary in their work. This inspirational international influence as a trend-setter in innovative musical theatre is reflected in the many artistic careers which began at the Komische Oper Berlin – including those of the directors Götz Friedrich and Harry Kupfer as well as the conductors Otto Klemperer, Kurt Masur, Yakov Kreizberg, and Kirill Petrenko.

In 2012, Barrie Kosky took over from Andreas Homoki as the Artistic Director of the Komische Oper Berlin. He was joined by Henrik Nánási, the new General Music Director. The Komische Oper Berlin is versatile and flexible to a degree which is unusual for an opera house. This and the fixed ensemble of singer-performers are key characteristics of the Komische Oper Berlin under Kosky’s directorship. Kosky’s conceptual approach draws not only on the tradition set by Felsenstein, but also on the venue’s pre-war traditions, which were strongly shaped by Jewish actors and have hitherto received less attention. Felsenstein’s vision of opera as a form of musical theatre in which music and action are equally important components of a production is combined by Kosky with the demand that musical theatre should provide an experience which appeals to all the senses and which encompasses musical drama in all its forms, from the classic Mozart repertoire through to genre-defying projects.