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Deutsche Oper Berlin
The Deutsche Oper Berlin is an opera company located in Berlinmarker, Germanymarker, in what was formerly West Berlin. The resident building, also called Deutsche Oper Berlin, also is home to the Staatsballett Berlin.


The company's history goes back to the Deutsches Opernhaus built by the city of Charlottenburgmarker (Bismarckstraße 34-37) from 1911 and opened on November 7, 1912 with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio, conducted by Ignatz Waghalter.
Deutsches Opernhaus, 1936
After the incorporation of Charlottenburg into Greater Berlinmarker the name of the resident building was changed to Städtische Oper (Municipal Opera House) in 1925. With the Nazi Machtergreifung in 1933, the opera was under control of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Minister Joseph Goebbels had the name changed back to Deutsches Opernhaus, competing the Berlin State Operamarker under the control of his rival Minister President Hermann Göring. In 1935, the building was remodeled by Paul Baumgarten and the seating reduced from 2300 to 2098. Carl Ebert, the pre-World War II general manager, chose to emigrate from Germany rather than endorse a Nazi view of music, and went on to co-found the Glyndebourne opera festivalmarker in England. The opera house was destroyed on November 23, 1943. Ebert later returned as general manager after the war.

After the war, the company used the building of the Theater des Westens until the new building, designed by Fritz Bornemann, was completed on September 24, 1961. The opening production was Mozart's Don Giovanni. The new building opened with the current name.

Past General Music Directors have included Bruno Walter, Ferenc Fricsay, Lorin Maazel, Gerd Albrecht, Jesús López Cobos, and Christian Thielemann. In October 2005, the Italian conductor Renato Palumbo was appointed Generalmusikdirector as of the 2006-2007 season. In October 2007, the Deutsche Oper announced the appointment of Donald Runnicles as their next Generalmusikdirector, effective August 2009, for an initial contract of 5 years. Simultaneously, Palumbo and the Deutsche Oper mutually agreed to terminate his contract, effective November 2007.

Since 2004, the Deutsche Oper's Intendantin has been Kirsten Harms.


In 1967, the opera house was the scene of the shooting of Benno Ohnesorg, a student taking part in the German student movement. He had been protesting against the visit to Germany by the Shah of Iran.

In April 2001, the Italian conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli died at the podium while conducting Verdi's Aida, at the age of 54.

In September 2006, the opera house drew criticism after it cancelled performances of Mozart's opera Idomeneo because of fears that a scene in it featuring the severed heads of Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad would offend Muslims, and that the opera house's security might become under threat if violent protests took place. Critics of the decision include Germanmarker Ministers and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The reaction from Muslims has been mixed — the leader of Germany's Islamic Council welcomed the decision, whilst a leader of Germany's Turkish community, criticising the decision, said:

"This is about art, not about politics ...
We should not make art dependent on religion — then we are back in the Middle Ages."

At the end of October 2006 the opera house announced that performances of Mozart's opera Idomeneo would then proceed. On this subject, see also Idomeneo .

Intendanten (General Managers)

Generalmusikdirektoren (Music Directors)


See also

Music in Berlin

External links

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