|Komische Oper Berlin, Germany, 2015|
Tour Dates: 5th - 14th September
Since the construction of the venue in Behrenstraße, the Komische Oper Berlin has at various times been a consistent international trend-setter...
Since the construction of the venue in Behrenstraße (which opened as the “Theater Unter den Linden” in 1892), the Komische Oper Berlin has at various times been a consistent international trend-setter in the world of musical theatre. As the leading theatre for operettas and revues in the 1920s, it fundamentally shaped the Berlin, and hence international, entertainment scene. Following the Second World War, Walter Felsenstein’s concept of musical theatre revolutionised European opera, and to this day it remains an important point of reference for the great majority of musical theatre directors seeking to be contemporary in their work. This inspirational international influence as a trend-setter in innovative musical theatre is reflected in the many artistic careers which began at the Komische Oper Berlin – including those of the directors Götz Friedrich and Harry Kupfer as well as the conductors Otto Klemperer, Kurt Masur, Yakov Kreizberg and Kirill Petrenko.
In 2012, Barrie Kosky took over from Andreas Homoki as the Artistic Director of the Komische Oper Berlin. He was joined by Henrik Nánási, the new General Music Director. The Komische Oper Berlin is versatile and flexible to a degree which is unusual for an opera house. This and the fixed ensemble of singer-performers are key characteristics of the Komische Oper Berlin under Kosky’s directorship. Kosky’s conceptual approach draws not only on the tradition set by Felsenstein, but also on the venue’s pre-war traditions, which were strongly shaped by Jewish actors and have hitherto received less attention. Felsenstein’s vision of opera as a form of musical theatre in which music and action are equally important components of a production is combined by Kosky with the demand that musical theatre should provide an experience which appeals to all the senses and which encompasses musical drama in all its forms, from the classic Mozart repertoire through to genre-defying projects.
The Magic Flute
Swathes of smoke that combine to form images – flowers that grow in slow motion as if by magic – elephants floating in cocktail glasses – flying flutes, dancing bells… Nothing is impossible in the new Magic Flute at the Komische Oper Berlin, produced by the British theatre group 1927 together with artistic director Barrie Kosky.
The extraordinary, unconventional fantasy worlds created by the artistic directors of 1927 Suzanne Andrade and Paul Barritt, who employ a combination of animated film and live actors, create the impression that huge comic collages have come to life. The singers stand, sit, hang or walk in front of a huge screen and interact with the events projected on the screen by 1927 – all in real time! In this way the most frequently performed German opera is transformed into an exciting experience never before seen in this way.
Artistic Director & Chefregisseur Barrie Kosky
Barrie Kosky is since 2012 the Intendant and Chefregisseur of the Komische Oper Berlin. At the end of his first season the Komische Oper was voted “Opera House of the Year” from 50 international opera journalists. Barrie Kosky’s work in Berlin has included The Monteverdi Trilogy, The Magic Flute, Ball im Savoy, Rusalka, Iphigenie in Tauris, Kiss Me, Kate, Rigoletto, The Marriage of Figaro, Seven Deadly Sins, West Side Story and Le Grand Macabre. Future productions at the Komische Oper include his Laurence Olivier award winning production of Castor and Pollux, Moses und Aron conducted by Vladimir Jurowski and new productions of The Tales of Hoffmann and Eugene Onegin.
Barrie Kosky has directed productions for the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Berlin Staatsoper Unter der Linden, Netherlands Opera, Oper Frankfurt, Los Angeles Opera, English National Opera, Vienna Staatsoper, Oper Graz, Staatsoper Hannover, Aalto Oper Essen, Deutsches Theater Berlin, Schauspielhaus Frankfurt.
Barrie Kosky was Artistic Director of the Schauspielhaus Vienna from 2001-2005, Artistic Director of the 1996 Adelaide Festival and has directed opera and theatre productions for Opera Australia, Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company and the Sydney and Melbourne International Festivals.
Future plans include opera productions at Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Teatro Real Madrid, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Oper Zürich, Oper Frankfurt, the Finnish National Opera and Los Angeles Opera.