Weeks after the Lindenoper announced its most exciting season lineup in a long while, the Komische Oper Berlin revealed its ambitious plans for the 2018/19 season at Tuesday’s press conference.
The operatic imaginary applied to Paris, Bruges, Lisbon, Berlin, Westphalia and Pakistan. “Metropolis as Metaphor” seems an appropriate slogan for the coming season, Barrie Kosky’s seventh at the helm of Berlin’s most unpredictable and freewheeling house. Kosky will be directing half of the KOB premieres, including a new “Bohème,” Bernstein’s “Candide” in honor of the composer’s centennial and the world premiere of Moritz Eggert’s “M,” based on the Weimar classic by Fritz Lang (for which Kosky also co-wrote the libretto!).
Two of opera’s most renowned directors take the reigns of baroque and 20th century works. Robert Carsen, who has done shows at the Deutsche Oper, will be tasked with Korngold’s “Die tote Stadt,” while former intendant Harry Kupfer, a longtime favorite at the neighboring Staatsoper (where a new “Macbeth” starring Domingo and Netrebko will go up in June), returns to the Komische for the first time in 15 years with Handel’s little-seen “Poro, re dell’Indie.” Another rarity rounds out the season’s premieres: Paul Abraham’s “Roxy und ihr Wunderteam,” a “football operetta” written in 1937 by the Hungarian-Jewish composer Paul Abraham and inspired by the then-victorious Austrian national football team. The cabaret trio “Die Geschwister Pfister,” musical director Stefan Huber and conductor Kai Tietje – the same team that brought Nico Dostal’s “Clivia” to sublimely wacky life in 2014 – can be relied on to ham things up in the Komische’s latest Paul Abraham rediscovery.
Among the revivals, it’s good to see former another intendant Andreas Homoki making an appearance with a rare revival of his elegant “Rosenkavalier,” from 2006 and unseen here for the past five seasons.