Tonight: Don Carlo at the Deutsche Oper

Some of you may recall that Anja Harteros backed out two seasons ago of the  premiere of Marco Arturo Marelli’s production of Verdi’s Don Carlo.  Well, after dazzling audiences in Salzburg and Munich, Harteros will finally tackle Elisabeth at the DOB tonight. I personally had mixed feelings about Marelli’s grim production when it débuted,  but that’s…

Sunday at the Philharmonie: Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder

Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder, a large-scale cantata based on an ancient Danish saga, is being performed for the second and final time tonight by the Berlin Philharmoniker and chief conductor Simon Rattle.  Based on the evidence of Friday’s dress rehearsal, the gargantuan orchestral forces (8 horns, four harps, 7 clarinets!), choral component (three choirs are taking…

Daily Recommendation: Sasha Waltz does Sacre at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater

The Berlin choreographer Sasha Waltz, one of the most exciting choreographers working today (and since Pina Bausch’s death a contender for the title of greatest living choreographer) celebrates the 20th anniversary of her troupe “Sasha Waltz & Guests” this year. Not surprisingly, she has secured a number of important commissions to celebrate the milestone, including…

Revival of Note: Don Giovanni at the Deutsche Staatsoper

Get thee to this Don Giovanni! The first revival of Claus Guth’s dark forest-bound staging at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater –  a transplant from the Salzburg Festival – is nearly as intoxicatingly great as it was when it premiered in  2012. As we wrote then, Guth is one of the best opera directors today and…

TKTS still available for Star-Studded Don Giovanni

Dear Readers : I just wanted to bring to your attention that there are still a few tickets available for the October 27 and November 3 performances of Don Giovanni at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater. I myself am attending tonight’s sold-out performance and will post my impressions tomorrow. My expectations, however, are running high…

Today: Free Staatsoper Mini-Fest at Dussmann

Step right up ladies and Germans for another fun-filled Einkaufssonntag, the much-loved “shopping Sundays” that the consumerism-starved Teutonics have instituted to make up for the bank holidays up which shops are shuttered. Seriously, it’s quite a sight to behold: all these stampeding Germans tearing down Ku’damm like they’ve never seen a Zara before. Well, if…

Peter Sellars / Simon Rattle – St. Matthew Passion

Tonight is the first of three performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion performed by the Berliner Philharmoniker and their chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle. The line-up of soloists is virtually untouched from the 2010 début of Peter Sellars’ semi-staged “ritualized” version (it has since been released on DVD). The only casting difference is the renowned American…

The Emperor’s New Clothes

For a decade now, the Komische Oper Berlin has been presenting high-quality productions of operas for children…but by no means only for children. The Emperor’s New Clothes, which premiered on Sunday in a deliriously silly production by Lydia Steier ranks among the best, along with Mikropolis and The Snow Queen . This was the world…

Happy Birthday Philharmonie

Sir Simon and his band are gearing up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their venerated hall, the Berliner Philharmonie. On Sunday, the orchestra joined by the Orchester-Akademie (conducted by Duncan Ward) and Mitsuko Uchida will play a gala concert of “space music,” which is how the online program describes the works by Berlioz, Kurtag,…

Reflecting on NYC Opera’s Demise from Opera-Rich Berlin

My personal reflections on the death of New York City Opera on the Gramophone blog. “They finally did it. They finally killed my opera. The fateful decision made last week by the board of New York City Opera to shutter the storied company and to file for bankruptcy protection in the wake of a failed…

Deutsche Staatsoper Season Opens on a High Note with ‘The Tsar’s Bride’

Russian director Dmitri Tcherniakov elegant and clever production of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Tsar’s Bride opened last night at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater.  With Barenboim in the saddle, conducting an immaculately prepared orchestra and a sensational cast that included, in order of vocal perfection: Olga Peretyako, Johannes Martin Kränzle and Anita Rachvelishvili. Tcherniakov set the work in an…