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The Deutsche Oper Berlin is an opera company located in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, Germany. The resident building is the country's second largest opera house (after Munich's) and also home to the Berlin State Ballet.
Since 2004 the Deutsche Oper Berlin, like the Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin State Opera), the Komische Oper Berlin, the Berlin State Ballet, and the Bühnenservice Berlin (Stage and Costume Design), has been a member of the Berlin Opera Foundation.
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The company's history goes back to the Deutsches Opernhaus built by the then independent city of Charlottenburg—the "richest town of Prussia"—according to plans designed by Heinrich Seeling from 1911. It opened on November 7, 1912 with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio , conducted by Ignatz Waghalter. In 1925, after the incorporation of Charlottenburg by the 1920 Greater Berlin Act, the name of the resident building was changed to Städtische Oper (Municipal Opera).
With the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, the opera was under control of the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Minister Joseph Goebbels had the name changed back to Deutsches Opernhaus, competing with the Berlin State Opera in Mitte controlled by his rival, the Prussian minister-president Hermann Göring. In 1935, the building was remodeled by Paul Baumgarten and the seating reduced from 2,300 to 2,098 places. Carl Ebert, the pre-World War II general manager, chose to emigrate from Germany rather than endorse the Nazi view of music, and went on to co-found the Glyndebourne Festival Opera in England.He was replaced by Max von Schillings, who acceded to demands that he enact works of "unalloyed German character". Several artists, like the conductor Fritz Stiedry and the singer Alexander Kipnis, followed Ebert into emigration. The opera house was destroyed by a Royal Air Force air raid on 23 November 1943. Performances continued at the Admiralspalast in Mitte until 1945. Ebert returned to serve as general manager after the war.
After the war, in what had now been called West Berlin, the company, again called Städtische Oper, used the nearby Theater des Westens; its opening production was Fidelio, on 4 September 1945. Its home was finally rebuilt in 1961 but to a much-changed, sober design by Fritz Bornemann. The opening production of the newly re-named Deutsche Oper, on 24 September, was Mozart's Don Giovanni .
Past Generalmusikdirektoren (GMD, general music directors) have included Bruno Walter, Kurt Adler, Ferenc Fricsay, Lorin Maazel, Gerd Albrecht, Jesús López-Cobos, and Christian Thielemann. In October 2005, the Italian conductor Renato Palumbo was appointed GMD as of the 2006/2007 season.In October 2007, the Deutsche Oper announced the appointment of Donald Runnicles as their next Generalmusikdirektor, effective August 2009, for an initial contract of five years. Simultaneously, Palumbo and the Deutsche Oper mutually agreed to terminate his contract, effective November 2007.
On the evening of 2 June 1967, Benno Ohnesorg, a student taking part in the German student movement, was shot in the streets around the opera house. He had been protesting against the visit to Germany by the Shah of Iran, who was attending a performance of Mozart's The Magic Flute .
In 1986 the American Berlin Opera Foundation was founded.
In April 2001, the Italian conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli died at the podium while conducting Verdi's Aida , at age 54.
In September 2006, the Deutsche Oper's Intendantin (general manager) Kirsten Harms drew criticism after she cancelled the production of Mozart's opera Idomeneo by Hans Neuenfels, 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 come under threat if violent protests took place. Critics of the decision include German 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.Kirsten Harms, after announcing in 2009 that she would not renew her contract beyond 2011, was bid farewell in July of that year.
Eugen Jochum was an eminent German conductor.
The Berlin State Opera is a German opera company based in Berlin. Its permanent home is the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, commonly referred to as Lindenoper, in the central Mitte district, which also hosts the Staatskapelle Berlin orchestra. Originally the Hofoper from 1742, it was named Königliches Opernhaus in 1844, and Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 1918. From 1949 to 1990 it housed the state opera of East Germany. Since 2004, the State Opera company belongs to the Berlin Opera Foundation, like the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Komische Oper Berlin, the Berlin State Ballet, and the Bühnenservice Berlin.
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau was a German lyric baritone and conductor of classical music, one of the most famous Lieder performers of the post-war period, best known as a singer of Franz Schubert's Lieder, particularly "Winterreise" of which his recordings with accompanist Gerald Moore and Jörg Demus are still critically acclaimed half a century after their release.
Ernst Haefliger was a Swiss tenor.
Elisabeth Schilz Grümmer was a German soprano. She has been described as "a singer blessed with elegant musicality, warm-hearted sincerity, and a voice of exceptional beauty".
Ferenc Fricsay was a Hungarian conductor. From 1960 until his death, he was an Austrian citizen.
Paul Dessau was a German composer and conductor. He collaborated with Bertolt Brecht and composed incidental music for his plays, and several operas based on them.
Christian Thielemann is a German conductor. He is Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Dresden and the Director of the Salzburg Easter Festival.
Ignatz Waghalter was a Polish-German composer and conductor.
Edith Mathis is a Swiss soprano and a leading exponent of the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart worldwide. She is known for parts in Mozart operas, but also took part in premieres of operas such as Henze's Der junge Lord.
Hans Neuenfels is a German writer, poet, film producer, librettist, theatre director and opera director.
Carl Anton Charles Ebert, was an actor, stage director and arts administrator.
Donald Cameron Runnicles, OBE HonFRSE is a Scottish conductor.
Since the 18th century Berlin has been an influential musical center in Germany and Europe. First as an important trading city in the Hanseatic League, then as the capital of the electorate of Brandenburg and the Prussian Kingdom, later on as one of the biggest cities in Germany it fostered an influential music culture that remains vital until today. Berlin can be regarded as the breeding ground for the powerful choir movement that played such an important role in the broad socialization of music in Germany during the 19th century.
Donald Roth Grobe was an American lyric tenor who sang at the Deutsche Oper Berlin during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.
Wilhelm Schüchter was a German conductor. He was Generalmusikdirektor in Dortmund and left a legacy of opera recordings.
The Theater des Westens is one of the most famous theatres for musicals and operettas in Berlin, Germany, located at Kantstraße 10–12 in Charlottenburg. It was founded in 1895 for plays. The present house was opened in 1896 and dedicated to opera and operetta. Enrico Caruso made his debut in Berlin here, and the Ballets Russes appeared with Anna Pavlova. In the 1930s it was run as the Volkstheater Berlin. After World War II it served as the temporary opera house of Berlin, the Städtische Oper. In 1961 it became the first theatre in Germany to show musicals. Since then it has become the "German equivalent of Broadway extravaganzas", putting on plays and musical comedies.
Tatjana Gsovsky was an internationally known ballet dancer and choreographer who was ballet mistress of the Berlin State Opera, Teatro Colón, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Oper Frankfurt. An influential teacher, she is remembered for first choreographies of works by contemporary composers including Boris Blacher, Werner Egk, Hans Werner Henze, Giselher Klebe, Luigi Nono and Carl Orff.
Rudolf Sellner, born Gustav Rudolf Sellner, was a German actor, dramaturge, stage director and intendant. He represented in the 1950s a radical Instrumentales Theater. After decades of acting and directing plays, he turned to staging operas, and was a long-time intendant of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 1961, when the Berlin Wall was built. He staged notable world premieres, including Ernst Barlach's play Der Graf von Ratzeburg in 1951, Ionesco's Mörder ohne Bezahlung in 1958, Giselher Klebe's Alkmene in 1961 for the opening of the Deutsche Oper, and Aribert Reimanns opera Melusine in 1971.
Rolf Reuter was a German conductor.
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