Berlin Opera Houses: An Embarrassment of Riches

When it comes to music, Germans don’t like to do anything halfway. And when it comes to music in Berlin, things just start getting excessive. Take opera, for instance. There is many an important city out there that takes great pride in its opera house. Berlin does, too. Only Berlin enjoys the privilege of being proud of all three. That’s right, three.

And with many a varied repertoire and a combined effort of over 800 performances a season, Berlin’s opera houses produce a massive amount of impressive musical culture.

Die Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin State Opera) is one of the most well-known opera companies in all of Germany. And if you have ever had the opportunity of experiencing a musical performance here, you will readily agree that the Staatsoper has to be one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world. Friedrich the Great (Friedrich II.) gave his architect von Knobelsdorf the assignment to build what he called his “magic castle” back in 1741. The Royal Opera (Hofoper) opened not long after that and, though having gone through a major metamorphosis or two (a devastating fire and two heavy bombing attacks during World War II, for instance), it has successfully sailed through a long and colorful and very musical 250 year history.
Located in the heart of Berlin, the “Linden Opera”, led by a long line of famous directors (Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, Herbert van Karajan and Daniel Barenboim having been among them), has firmly established itself as one of the world’s leading opera houses.

Staatsoper Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden 7
10117 Berlin
Tel. +49 030 29 35 45 55
www.staatsoper-berlin.de

Die Komische Oper Berlin is the opera house in Berlin which specializes in German language productions, mainly producing operas, operettas and musicals. Its name stems from the French term “opera comique” and, like its French counterparts, stands for “modern” musical theater where music and plot are equally represented. The Komische Oper’s repertoire emphasizes works from Mozart and HÃ?¤ndel as well as compositions form the Slavic repertoire of the twentieth century. Built in 1891 for a private society and given at that time the name Theater Unter den Linden, it was subsequently used as a venue for operettas and for various social events and balls. It too went through several turbulent changes (it suffered an Allied bombing attack during World War II, as well), changing ownership and names on several occasions and at one point, as the Metropol-Theater, it was Berlin’s most famous variety theater. Just a few steps off Unter den Linden, its completely rebuilt interior and modern technology offer comfortable viewing and listening pleasure from all of its 1270 seats.

Komische Oper Berlin
BehrenstraÃ?Â?e 55-57
10117 Berlin
Tel. +49 030 47 99 74 00
www.komische-oper-berlin.de

Die Deutsche Oper is the Berliner opera house that used to be in Cold War West Berlin. It is a relatively new house, having been constructed after 1945, although its roots go back to the Deutsche Opernhaus in Charlottenburg which opened here in 1912. It is home to its own opera company as well as to the Staatsballett Berlin. A rather sober, minimalist structure from the early sixties era, its openness, elegance and clarity of design – perhaps “reduction” is the better word here – immediately strikes the visitor upon entering the building. The acoustic quality is outstanding here, as is the modern seating arrangement. Every seat in the house is excellent, the classic opera boxes where not included in this design. The repertoire is huge and varied, covering everything from Debussy to Weil.

Deutsche Oper Berlin
BismarckstraÃ?Â?e 35
10627 Berlin
Tel. +49 030 343 84 01
www.deutscheoperberlin.de

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