On the Horizon: Berlin Opera in February

As Berlin enters into its coldest month, we inaugurate a new feature, a monthly forecast of the operatic offerings in the Hauptstadt. If you’re not camping out at the Berlinale (or even if you are), we can guarantee that the place you most want to be in Berlin is inside a well-heated opera house for…

Serse (Xerxes)

This 2012 production of Handel’s tuneful opera is one of the KOB’s recent blockbusters. Stefan Herheim, the Norwegian-born director who has left his distinctive stamp on many European stages in a mere few years, makes Serse stand head and shoulders above the houses’ previous forays into baroque opera. Herheim shows a keen wit and sharp intelligence that…

REVIVAL OF NOTE: La Gioconda at the Deutsche Oper

Don’t expect any dancing hippos in the Deutsche Oper’s rare revival of Ponchielli’s La Gioconda. The company has dusted off Filippo Sanjust’s 1972 staging, an insistently grand, old fashioned production that features sumptuous two-dimensional scenery of Venice, floating gondolas, wildly oversized puppets and a luxurious wardrobe of silk capes and flowing satin gowns. In fact, much…

Berlin Mourns Maestro Claudio Abbado, 80

Italian conductor Claudio Abbado has died at 80. His death was announced earlier this morning by the mayor’s office of Bologna. Abbado, arguably the greatest Italian conductor of his generation, along with Riccardo Muti, held posts at La Scala, the Vienna State Opera, the London Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic. In Berlin,…