The Deutsche Oper is Back!

This autumn in Berlin, the opera scene has been less overstuffed than usual, owing to the three month closure of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, due to badly-needed renovations. This season, the company was supposed to have moved down the road (literarily) into the Schiller Theater, which was intended as the the Staatsoper’s temporary home from…

Bayreuth 2014 Cast Lists & General Dress Rehearsal Dates

Somewhat disappointingly, this year’s Bayreuth program is virtually the same as the festival’s 2013 installment. It would have been nice to see Stefan Herheim’s Parsifal given one final revival before the hotly-awaited Jonathan Meese staging that will premiere in 2016. Oh well, we can always hope for next season. Here are the recently-announced general rehearsal dates. Tannhäuser…

Parsifal on Easter Monday (Deutsche Oper Berlin)

Philipp Stölzl’s production of Parsifal seemed more of a failure during the Deutsche Oper Berlin’s recent revival, which played its final performance Easter Monday. Stölzl, who previous provided the company’s thrilling WWII-themed Rienzi (as well as the Staatsoper’s superlative mise en abyme Holländer) finds no compelling way to critically engage with Wagner’s profound, infuriating and…

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…

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,…

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…

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…