Watch out, this is a ornate-décor-free zone: On September 24, 1961 the stage was reopened as Deutsche Oper Berlin. Originally it had been inaugurated in 1912 - but heavily damaged during World War II: Ever since it has been Berlin´s largest and Germany´s second largest music theatre, featuring among the most modern institutions in Europe. The minimalistic and elegant building that was designed by Fritz Bornemann (who was also the architect of Berlin’s America Memorial Library and Freie Volksbühne) seats 1.859 and guarantees a maximum viewing and hearing experience for every visitor.
The House on Bismarckstraße has always been ideal for the operas of the 19th and early 20th century with its demand for big orchestras: Wagner, Verdi, Puccini and Strauss. Internationally acclaimed soloists and conductors, an outstanding ensemble of singers, choir and orchestra musicians together with reknowned directors have ensured the House´s eminent position in the music world. 112 world premieres in nearly a hundred years cemented the House´s reputation as contemporary opera venue. Among the important Musical Directors were Bruno Walter in the 1920s, Lorin Maazel in the 1960s and Christian Thielemann in the 1990s. The stage was significantly shaped by General Director Götz Friedrich (a student of the legendary director and theatre founder Walter Felsenstein) between 1981 and 2000; his impact is tangible even today.
In August 2009 Donald Runnicles has started his term as General Musical Director. The Wagner- and Strauss-expert will reinforce the French repertoire and promotes composers like Berlioz or Janácek. In August 2012 Dietmar Schwarz will take office as new General Director of Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Besides Vienna and Munich, the Deutsche Oper Berlin features a unique repertory of about 70 opera productions. This repertory contains a large range of visual styles and is carefully looked after. The utmost in artistic perfection and courageous innovation have a tradition at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
Foyer der Deutschen Oper Berlin (c) Bettina Stöß / stage picture