Dialog(ue) in Berlin

Berlin is one of the world’s pre-eminent opera cities. Its three leading opera houses combine and compete to offer an unsurpassably rich diet of performances to the inhabitants of and visitors to the vibrant German capital.

Two of those companies - the Deutsche Oper on Bismarckstraße, created in 1961 in West Berlin, and the Komische Oper founded by Walter Felsenstein in 1947 on Behrensstraße in what is now Berlin Mitte – will join forces to host Opera Europa’s autumn conference between 28 and 30 October 2016.  The third and oldest of the companies, the Staatsoper, is currently housed at the Schillertheater, also on Bismarckstraße, while its historic home theatre Unter den Linden undergoes reconstruction prior to re-opening for 2017/18, but it should be possible for some delegates to visit the site.

The Deutsche Oper will be the location of the opening sessions on Friday afternoon 28 October and the concluding sessions on Sunday morning 30 October.  The Komische Oper will be our home throughout Saturday 29 October and will host a reception that evening after the performance of Die Zauberflöte in Intendant Barrie Kosky’s widely acclaimed production. Other operas being performed during the conference include Rigoletto and Parsifal conducted by Music Director Donald Runnicles at the Deutsche Oper; a new Barbiere di Siviglia directed by Kirill Serebrennikov and Kosky’s staging of Rusalka at the Komische Oper; and Fidelio directed by Harry Kupfer and the Patrice Chéreau staging of Elektra, both conducted by Music Director Daniel Barenboim at the Staatsoper am Schillertheater.

Opera Europa’s conference has been planned to coincide with one of the biannual meetings of the Deutsche Opernkonferenz, the select gathering of the thirteen leading theatres of the German-speaking countries.  It will be an opportunity to bring both groups together on the Friday afternoon for dialogues about topics of mutual interest and concern, such as co-productions and rights issues.

Technical & Production delegates will be offered a tour of the BühnenService Berlin, the largest theatre workshops in Germany, as well as their own dedicated visit to the Staatsoper unter den Linden development.  The finals of the 9th European Opera-directing Prize will also take place during the weekend.