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Berlin Staatsoper to reopen following seven years of construction work

posted on 07/09/17

On September 30th, opera will return to the Berlin Staatsoper’s usual home on the historic Boulevard Unter den Linden. The season begins with a concert outside the opera house and continues on 3rd October with a new production of Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust.

The Faust performance will use partially constructed sets that were planned to be used for a new opera entitled Saul, by the German composer Wolfgang Rihm. The production was sadly cancelled at the last minute, however, when Rihm fell ill.

A new tunnel spanning over 100m will connect the rehearsal space to the main stage, a feature which, while speeding up operations, has delayed the Staatsoper’s reopening and contributed to its estimated refurbishment cost of 400 million euros; over 150 million more than anticipated. Other developments have sought to improve the opera house’s acoustics. The ceiling has been raised by almost five metres and the space above the highest balcony has been lined with a ceramic net that distributes sound consistently.

The Prussian King Friedrich commissioned the opera house in 1742, but since then it has had an unfortunate history, being destroyed by fire in the 19th century and twice during the Second World War.

Daniel Barenboim, who is general music director at the Staatsoper, is amongst the performers during the Salzburg Mozart Festival, which we visit during our Celebrating Mozart trip. If you are looking to visit Berlin in 2018, we are running our Cold War-themed Berlin Divided trip – a visit to the Staatsoper is highly recommended while you are there.

 

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