Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper Unter den Linden): Practical information and photographs

Berlin State Opera

The Berlin State Opera (Staatsoper Berlin) is located on the central Unter den Linden boulevard in the former East Berlin. The history of the house may be seen here. The Berlin State Opera house was destroyed at the end of the Second Wold War and the current house and interior (in adapted baroque style) dates from 1955 . The company will close for renovation within a couple of season, a hotly debated topic in Berlin, which will not be further discussed in this post (but elsewhere on this blog).


Daniel Barenboim is music director and de facto leader of the house which is renowned internationally for top-class Wagner performances of a quality hard to match anywhere else, but also for baroque opera productions with René Jacobs as a frequent guest conductor. An annual Easter Festival is held (at outrageously high ticket prices), often including a premiere of a significant work - 2012 will feature Rheingold and Walküre with René Pape as Wotan as well as a new production of Lulu.

Practical information:

Tickets are very reasonably priced, relatively easy to come by and may be ordered via the company website, where you, as a new feature, now may print them out at home. The Berlin State Opera has no standing room spaces.

The season schedule is also available via the company website.

The view is not optimal from quite a few of the cheaper seats - something hopefully improved by the forthcoming renovation of the auditorium...

The best drink is a "bowle" mixing raspberrys with sparkling wine for about 6 Euros...

Public transportation to and from the house is straightforward, with plenty of busses right outside the door. Train station Friedrichstrasse is app. 500 meters away. Subway station Unter den Linden is a bit closer by.
Note, that at the moment, and until at least 2013, the company plays in the Schillertheater located close to the Deutsche Oper, awaiting renovation of the building Unter den Linden.

Productions are generally modern and inventive. The orchestra is top-class when Daniel Barenboim conducts, while the quality at other times may vary considerably.

Significant singers to regularly appear here include: René Pape (a company member), Dorothea Röschmann, Rolando Villazon, Waltraud Meier, Christine Schäfer etc.
Berlin State Opera
The place for drinks during intermission:

Berlin State Opera
In the corridors:

Berlin State Opera
The auditorium:

Berlin State Opera
Berlin State Opera
Berlin State Opera
Berlin State Opera
The perhaps biggest asset of the house: Daniel Barenboim and the orchestra:
Berlin State Opera
All photographs taken at 2008 performances of Meistersinger, Don Carlo, Don Giovanni and the Rólando Villazón recital.

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