Guide to Komische Oper Berlin

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« ...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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BerlinPetrushka / L'Enfant et les sortilèges

Ravel, Stravinsky
Jordan De Souza; Suzanne Andrade; Komische Oper Berlin; Pia Leong; 1927; Esme Appleton; Katrin Kath

BerlinEine Frau, die weiss, was sie will (A woman who knows what she wants)

Straus: Eine Frau, die weiss, was sie will (A woman who knows what she wants)
Adam Benzwi; Barrie Kosky; Komische Oper Berlin; Katrin Kath

BerlinThe Town Musicians of Bremen | Bremen MızıkacılarıNew Production

Şendil: The Town Musicians of Bremen | Bremen Mızıkacıları
Ivo Hentschel; Tobias Ribitzki; Komische Oper Berlin; Alfred Peter; Kathrin-Susann Brose

BerlinLa Belle Hélène

Offenbach: La Belle Hélène
Henrik Nánási; Barrie Kosky; Komische Oper Berlin; Rufus Didwiszus; Buki Shiff

BerlinPelléas et MélisandeNew Production

Debussy: Pelléas et Mélisande
Jordan De Souza; Barrie Kosky; Komische Oper Berlin; Klaus Grünberg; Dina Ehm

BerlinSatyagrahaNew Production

Glass: Satyagraha
Jonathan Stockhammer; Komische Oper Berlin; Henrik Ahr; Jan-Jan Van Essche; Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui
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Peat graves: Reimann's Medea at the Komische Oper

A woman, mother and outcast needs to make life choices in a hostile environment.
*****
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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.
****1
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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.
****1
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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.
****1
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Biography

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.