Berlin's 3 Opera Houses

With three very different opera houses, Berlin has a show for every taste.

Berlin's club scene may get more attention in the international media, but let's not forget this is a city where the high culture thrives as much as the subculture. With no fewer than three opera houses that attract world-renowned musicians and performers, there's always something on to make a night at the opera very worth your while.

Deutsche Oper

The largest of the three houses is the Deutsche Oper (Bismarckstr. 35), destroyed by WWII bombing and reopened only in 1961 with a sober contemporary design that also promises great acoustics. The opera house remains dedicated to upholding the legacy of the 19th century's opera greats, with works by Strauss, Wagner, Puccini, and Verdi making regular appearances on the program.

Komische Oper

The Komische Oper first opened in 1892 as a variety theater with operettas that relied on comedy and crowd-pleasing song and dance to fill the seats. It wasn't until after WWII and the division of the capital that the site was transformed into an opera house for the citizens of East Berlin. In recent years, under the direction of Barrie Kosky, the Komische Oper repertoire has thrived with a focus on bringing back those playful, forgotten operettas from yesteryear, as well as contemporary, boundary-pushing shows that make opera accessible to the masses. Experience the Kosky touch in his famed interpretation of The Magic Flute, which relies on animated light projections to create Mozart's world of fairy-tale magic.

Staatsoper

With a history reaching back to 1742, the Staatsoper (Unter den Linden 7) has the deepest roots of the city's three opera houses, though its story includes numerous periods of destruction by fire and wartime bombings, followed by decades of isolation behind the Berlin Wall. Just reopened last year after years-long renovations, the refurbished Staatsoper is newly optimized for acoustics, with a new passion for highlighting the wide spectrum of what opera can offer. Mozart's lighthearted comic opera Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is often on the program all month.

Hilda Hoy
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