Looking Forward to the Berlin Opera 2013-14 Season

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In the 2013-2014 seasons, Berlin’s three full-time opera houses will present a combined total of 23 new productions.

For the second consecutive season, the Komische Oper Berlin, under Barrie Kosky’s leadership, has assembled the most adventurous, dare I say seductive, program. It includes premieres of Benjamin Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cosi Fan Tutti, West Side Story, Prokofiev’s Fiery Angel, Nico Dostal’s rarely-seen Clivia, Rameau’s Castor et Pollux (Kosky’s Olivier Award-winning production from ENO), Zimmerman’s Die Soldaten (in a production by Calixto Bieito), Philip Glass’s Les Enfants Terrible and a new children’s opera by Milos Vacek based on The Emperor’s New Clothes.

Things over at the Deutsche Staatsoper, entering its fourth season at the Schiller Theater in the western part of the city while their historic home on Unter den Linden is renovated, are also very promising. In starts with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov‘s opera The Tsar’s Bride, (Dmitri Tcherniakov and conducted by Daniel Barenboim). Sasha Waltz will be staging Igor Stravinsky‘s Le Sacre du printemps, and Tannhäuser, (both with Barenboim). Philipp Stölzl’s staging of Trovatore with Plácido Domingo and Anna Netrebko (Barenboim) will be the opera event of the season. Andrea Breth, who scored high with her production of Wozzeck and very very low with Lulu will stage Katja Kabanowa with Sir Simon Rattle at the pulpit. Vincent Boussard is back at the house with Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny, as well as Katie Mitchell, doing double duty with Morton Feldman‘s Neither and Samuel Beckett‘s Footfalls. Intendant Jürgen Flimm will stage Salvatore Sciarrino‘s Macbeth. And Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek is serving up something that the Staatsoper describes as a “dramatic Wagner essay” called Rein Gold.

Coming in last place is the Deutsche Oper, which is presenting a relatively anemic five new productions of fairly standard repertory fare. Keith Warner’s Nabucco opens the season in September. The second premiere for the Verdi bicentennial is Christof Loy’s Falstaff, which arrives in November. Irina Brooks takes a stab at bel canto with April’s premiere of L’Elisir d’amore. Personally, I’m most excited to see Robert Carsen’s take on La Damnation de Faust (late February), and what David Alden (who did last season’s excellent Peter Grimes) does with Billy Budd in May.

This report was written in cooperation with the New York Feuilleton .

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