Strauss, Berlioz, Wenders and Gilliam Headline 2016-17 Staatsoper Berlin Season

A week after announcing next year’s Festtage lineup, the Berlin Staatsoper im Schiller Theater has unveiled its full plans for the 2016-17 season. There’s much here to be happy about, although the bulk of the offerings are co-productions that are known quantities by now, which somewhat dulls the excitement. The season will open on October 3,…

Wagner, Meyerbeer, Mozart and Britten among Deutsche Oper Berlin’s 2016-17 Premieres

  The Deutsche Oper Berlin is the first of Berlin’s three opera houses to announce their plans for the coming season. The six premieres will include a much-awaited new Huguenots from director David Alden and starring superstar tenor Juan Diego Florez. Along with Meyerbeer’s little-seen masterpiece (the single most popular opera of the 19th century), the company will…

Full Range and Scope of Operatic Diversity Characterize 2015-6 Season in Berlin

With this morning’s Jahrespressekonferenz at the Schiller Theater, Berlin’s operatic program during the 2015-16 season is complete. Starting in the fall, Berlin’s three full-time opera houses will present a combined total of 22 new productions and 64 repertory works, ranging from 1689’s Dido and Aeneas at the Staatsoper (in Sasha Waltz’s transcendent production) to the world premiere of Elens Kats-Chernin’s Snow…

Simon Rattle Announced as Music Director of the LSO starting 2017

Sir Simon is homesick, that much is clear. After 13 years helming the Berliner Philharmoniker, who can blame him for getting the Berlin blues? So the announcement earlier today that Sir Simon will become the London Symphony Orchestra’s music director starting September 2017 is very good news indeed. The Brits have wanted him back since he left…

Barrie Kosky Talks About Bringing Weimar Operetta Back to Berlin

originally published in the Jewish Daily Forward. On a freezing January evening, a large crowd gathered to watch as three stolpersteine were hammered into the sidewalk outside the Komische Oper Berlin. These brass stones commemorate victims — mostly, but not all, Jewish — of Nazi persecution. The plaques laid in front of the opera commemorated Jews…

Daily Tip: La Belle Hélène at the Komische Oper

The Komische Oper is currently in the midst of an operetta festival that includes the premiere of Oscar Straus’ Eine Frau, die weiß, was sie will, as well as several of the company’s recent forays into the operetta genre. (For the extremely interested, there’s even an international conference about operetta called “The Art of the Superficial: Between…

Anja Harteros is ‘Tosca’ at the Deutsche Oper

Pretty much the only redeeming thing Alvis Hermanis’ disappointing “Tosca,” which opened the Staatsoper season several months back, was a remarkable and assured debut by Anja Kampe in the title role. Head over to the Deutsche Oper next week for that company’s classic Boleslaw Barlog production. The main draw is star soprano Anja Harteros, a…

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…

Last Chance: “Turn of the Screw” at Staatsoper TONIGHT

Tonight is the final performance of Claus Guth’s powerful new production of Benjamin  Britten’s gothic chamber opera “The Turn of the Screw.” The second premiere of the Staatsoper’s 2014-15 season, it stands head and shoulders above the lackluster season-opener of “Tosca,” dully directed by Alvis Hermanis. Guth’s staging features a frequently rotating set to reveal the unnatural…

Bayreuth Festival Sacks Jonathan Meese From 2016 Parsifal

The controversial German artist Jonathan Meese, who was supposed to direct Bayreuth’s 2016 production of “Parsifal,” has been sacked by the festival’s directorship. The official explanation given was that Meese’s concept was unrealistically over-budget, a claim that should raise a few eyebrows, in light of how well-funded the Bayreuth Festival is. In an interview with Der Spiegel,…

Last Chance: Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the KOB

Tomorrow is the final revival performance of the Komische Oper Berlin’s superb and inventive production of Les Contes d’Hoffmann. The principal drawback is that the work is performed in German, as per the company’s longstanding tradition (which has been challenged in recent years by a spunky new intendant, Barrie Kosky). But if you can get used…

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…