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Komische Oper Berlin

From Academic Kids

The Komische Oper Berlin is an opera company in Berlin, Germany, which specializes in German-language productions of opera, operetta and musicals. Since 2004, it is operated by the Berliner Opernstiftung. Its home base is the Komische Oper in Behrenstraße, just a few steps from the Unter den Linden boulevard.

History of the theatre building

The theatre was built 1891-1892 by Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer for a private society, and opened on September 24, 1892 as Theater Unter den Linden with Adolf Ferron's operetta Daphne and Gaul and Haßreiter's ballet Die Welt in Bild und Tanz. Subsequently the theatre was mainly as an operetta theatre and for various events and balls. The theatre had circa 800 seats in the stalls and circa 1700 seats in balconies and various en-suite dinner rooms. It closed 1896 after the directors went bankrupt.

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Komische Oper Berlin

On September 3, 1898 the theatre was reopened as Metropol-Theater with Julius Freund's revue Paradies der Frauen. Subsequently it became one of Berlin's most famous and successful variety theatres. With the decline of variety and music hall entertainment, the theatre closed in 1933.

In 1934, the theatre was nationalized and renamed Staatliches Operettentheater. Subsequently, it was operated as part of the Nazi Kraft durch Freude entertainment and leisure programmes. In World War II, the stagehouse was damaged by Allied bombing on May 7, 1944. The façade, entrance hall, and auditorium ceiling painting were destroyed by bombs on March 9, 1945.

After repair works and provisional rebuildings, the theatre re-opened on December 23, 1947, as the Komische Oper with Johann Strauß's operetta Die Fledermaus. After various alterations and extensions in the 1950s, the theatre was completely rebuilt in 1965-1966 by Architektenkollektiv Kunz Nierade, adding functional extensions and giving the theatre a completely new exterior appearance. It reopened on December 4, 1966, with Mozart's Don Giovanni. The auditorium (still more or less in its 1892 state) was restored in 1986; in 1989 the stage technology was modernized. Today, the theatre has 1270 seats.

The names mentioned should not be confused with similar names of other theatres in Berlin. The theatre is not identical to the "Theater unter den Linden" that operated from 1933 to 1945 in the former "Kleines Theater" at Unter den Linden 44; nor to the "Staatsoper Unter den Linden", the Berlin State Opera. Neither is it identical to the "Metropol-Theater" that operated in the former Admiralspalast from 1955 into the 1990s. Furthermore, today's "Komische Oper" has no connection to the "Komische Oper (an der Weidendammer Brücke)" that operated from 1905 into the 1920s as an opera theater, later as an operetta theatre, and finally as a revue theatre.

The Komische Oper company

The resident opera company, the Komische Oper, was founded and directed by Walter Felsenstein until his death in 1975. It specializes in German-language productions of opera, operetta and musicals.

From 1966 to 2004, the theatre was also home to a resident ballet company (first as "Tanztheater der Komischen Oper", from 1999 as "BerlinBallett - Komische Oper").

External links

no:Komische Oper Berlin

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