The Komische Oper Berlin is a German opera company based in Berlin.
The company produces opera, operetta and musicals.
The opera house is located on Behrenstraße, just a few steps from
Unter den Linden. Since 2004, the Komische Oper Berlin, along with the
Berlin State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the
Berlin State Ballet,
and the Bühnenservice
Berlin (Stage and Costume Design), has been a
member of the
1 History of the building
2 The Komische Oper company
2.1 General Music Directors
3 See also
5 External links
History of the building
Interior of Komische Oper Berlin
Stage of Komische Oper Berlin
The theatre was built between 1891 and 1892 by architects Ferdinand
Fellner and Hermann Helmer for a private society. It first opened on
24 September 1892 as "Theater Unter den Linden" with Adolf Ferron's
operetta Daphne and Gaul and Haßreiter's ballet
Die Welt in Bild und
The theatre was primarily a vehicle for operetta, but was also used
for various other events and balls. Around 800 people could be seated
in the stalls, and the balconies and various en-suite dinner rooms
housed about a further 1,700 seats. Its directors went bankrupt in
1896 and the theatre was forced to close its doors.
On 3 September 1898 the theatre was reopened as Metropol-Theater with
Julius Freund's revue Paradies der Frauen. It then grew to become one
of Berlin's most famous and successful variety theatres. During the
1920s and early 1930s, it was leased by the brothers Alfred and Fritz
Rotter. Under their management, it saw the premieres of two operettas
Franz Lehár - Friederike (opera) in 1928 and Das Land des
Lächelns in 1929, both starring Richard Tauber. However, due to a
decline of variety and music hall entertainment the theatre was again
closed in 1933.
In 1934 the theatre was nationalised and renamed Staatliches
Operettentheater. It operated as part of the Nazi Kraft durch Freude
entertainment and leisure programmes. During World War II, the
auditorium was damaged by Allied bombing on 7 May 1944. The façade,
entrance hall, and auditorium ceiling murals were destroyed by bombs
on 9 March 1945.
After the war, the theatre was in East Germany, being that the
building was in the eastern part of Berlin. Following repair works and
provisional rebuilding, the theatre reopened on 23 December 1947, as
the Komische Oper with Johann Strauss's operetta Die Fledermaus.
The 1950s saw various further alterations and extensions. The theatre
was completely rebuilt in 1965/1966 by Architektenkollektiv Kunz
Nierade, adding functional extensions and giving the theatre a
completely new exterior. The theatre reopened again on 4 December
1966, with Mozart's Don Giovanni. The auditorium underwent further
restoration in 1986, and the stage technology was further modernised
by 1989. Today the theatre seats 1,270.
The Komische Oper company
Walter Felsenstein founded and led the resident opera
company, the Komische Oper, until his death in 1975. Götz
Friedrich was an assistant to Felsenstein at the company. Joachim Herz
became general director after Felsenstein's death and served until
Harry Kupfer directed the company for 21 seasons,
until 2002. The company specializes in German language productions of
opera, operetta and musicals. In 2007 the company won, jointly with
Oper Bremen, the "
Opera house of the year" award by the German
magazine Opernwelt. Since 2002, the company's chief director and
Intendant has been Andreas Homoki. He is scheduled to step down from
those posts on 31 July 2012. In June 2008, the company announced the
Barrie Kosky to succeed Homoki as its next Intendant,
as of the 2012/2013 season. In October 2014, his contract with the
company was extended through 2022. Since 2005, the company's
managing director has been Susanne Moser.
From 1966 to 2004, the theatre was also home to a resident ballet
company – first as the "Tanztheater der Komischen Oper", and then
from 1999 as "BerlinBallett – Komische Oper". In 2004, due to
budgetary problems, the separate ballet companies of Berlin's three
opera houses were merged into a single company called the
Past General Music Directors (GMD) of the company have included Kurt
Masur, Rolf Reuter, Yakov Kreizberg, Kirill Petrenko, Carl
St.Clair, and Patrick Lange. Since 2012, the GMD of the company is
Henrik Nánási. Nánási is scheduled to conclude his tenure at the
end of the 2017-2018 season. In May 2017, the company announced the
appointment of Ainārs Rubiķis as its next GMD, effective with the
2018-2019 season, with an initial contract of 3 seasons.
General Music Directors
Kurt Masur (1960–1964)
Géza Oberfrank (hu) (1973–1976)
Rolf Reuter (de) (1981–1993)
Yakov Kreizberg (1994–2001)
Kirill Petrenko (2002–2007)
Carl St. Clair (2008–2010)
Patrick Lange (de) (2010–2012)
Henrik Nánási (de) (2012–2018)
Ainārs Rubiķis (ru) (2018–present)
Music in Berlin
^ The names mentioned should not be confused with similar names of
other theatres in Berlin. The theatre is not identical to the "Theater
unter den Linden" which operated from 1933 to 1945 in the former
"Kleines Theater" at
Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden 44; nor to the "Staatsoper Unter
den Linden", the
Berlin State Opera. Neither is it identical to the
"Metropol-Theater" that operated in the former
1955 into the 1990s. Furthermore, today's "Komische Oper" has no
connection to the "Komische Oper (an der Weidendammer Brücke)" which
operated from 1905 into the 1920s as an opera theater, later as an
operetta theatre, and finally as a revue theatre.
Opera Nervously Awaits The Next Act". The New York
Times. 24 June 1990. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
^ "Komische Oper Berlin: Barry Kosky neuer Intendant". Focus. 24 June
2008. Retrieved 21 November 2010.
Barrie Kosky bleibt bis 2022 in Berlin". Die Welt. 2014-10-09.
^ "Berliner Dirigent Rolf Reuter gestorben".
Die Welt (in German). 11
September 2007. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
^ Frederik Hanssen (20 May 2010). "Meister von morgen". Der
Tagesspiegel (in German). Retrieved 20 November 2010.
^ "Ainārs Rubiķis ab 2018/19 Generalmusikdirektor an der Komischen
Oper Berlin" (PDF) (Press release). Komische Oper Berlin. 8 May 2017.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Komische Oper Berlin.
Official website (in German)
Komische Oper history timeline, English-language version
Komische Oper on postcards
Coordinates: 52°30′57″N 13°23′13″E / 52.51583°N