Service / House

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Pictures / Videos

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360° Virtual tour

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360° Virtual tour

  • Warning: this is a plush- and- ornate- décor-free zone : On September 24, 1961 the Opernhaus that had been inaugurated in 1912 and destroyed during the War was reopened as Deutsche Oper Berlin. Ever since it has been Berlin´s largest and Germany´s second largest music theatre, featuring among the most modern institutions in Europe. The straightforward and elegant building that was realized by architect Fritz Bornemann (he also conceived the America Memorial Library and the Haus der Berliner Festspiele, a. o.) seats 1.859 and guarantees a maximum viewing and hearing experience for every visitor.

  • Visit the Deutsche Oper Berling

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Opening Hours

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Opening Hours

  • Service, Information, Ordering Tickets
    In writing
    Kartenservice der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Postfach 10 02 80, 10562 Berlin

    Telephone
    Ticket-Service (Mo-Fr: 8 a.m. until 6 p.m.): +49 (0) 30-343 84 343
    Subscription-Service (Mo-Fr: 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.): +49 (0) 30-343 84 230
    Reception: +49 (0) 30-343 84 01

    E-Mail
    info@deutscheoperberlin.de

    Fax
    Tickets & Subscriptions: +49 (0) 30-34384 246
    Reception: +49 (0) 30-343 84 232

  • Box Office Opening Hours / Suscription Office [Götz-Friedrich-Platz]
    Mon. – Sat. (incl. public holidays): 11 am until 1,5 hours before the
    beginning of the performance. Open until 7 pm on days without performances.
    Sun.: 10 am to 2 pm.

    Box Office Opening Hours [Bismarckstraße 35]
    Resuming one hour before the beginning of the
    performance.

    The box office will remain closed during the summer break from 28 June until 3 August 2014, as well as on 24 December 2014 and 11 January 2015.

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Disabled visitors

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Disabled visitors

  • If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our
    Ticket Service under the telephone number +49 (30) 343 84 343.

  • Upon presentation of a severely handicapped identity card designated »B«, severely handicapped persons can obtain a ticket free of charge in all price categories for the person accompanying them.

    The box office of the Deutsche Oper Berlin on Bismarckstraße is accessible, barrier-free, for wheelchair users. Four parking spaces for wheelchair-users are available near the main entrance at the corner of Bismarckstraße and Richard-Wagner-Straße. Lifts transport visitors who cannot walk to the desired hall and foyer levels; on Stalls 2, there is a special box offering comfort especially to wheelchair users; accompanying persons sit close by, in the 26th row of the stalls.

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Arrival / Garage

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Arrival / Garage

  • Public Transport

    The Deutsche Oper Berlin is most easily reached by taking the underground line U2, which will bring you directly to the stop „Deutsche Oper“ from the direction of Ruhleben or Pankow. The stop „Bismarckstraße“ of line U7 is also very close by (there are lifts to the street level at this stop) as are the stops of the bus routes 101 and 109.

  • Parking Garage

    If you prefer arriving by car, the Parkhaus Deutsche Oper is at your disposal starting two hours before the beginning of the performance until 2 o’clock at a charge of € 3,–.

    There are special conditions for subscription holders: you can obtain an outlet ticket at the first cloakroom to the right upon presentation of your parking-structure ticket for only € 2,50. You may of course use the parking structure during the daytime as well, either as a regular parking space for your job, a comfortable parking space for residents or as additional parking spaces for clients and employees.

    For information on tariffs and conditions, please contact the
    Deutsche Oper Berlin Vermarktungs GmbH
    Natalie Martens, Richard-Wagner-Straße 10, 10585 Berlin (GERMANY)
    Telephone: +49 (30) 343 84 652
    E-Mail: martens@deutscheoperberlin.de.

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Restaurant Deutsche Oper

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Restaurant Deutsche Oper

  • Make your reservations

    You may of course reserve places, whether for a visit to the Restaurant Deutsche Oper or for drinks and snacks during the interval of a performance.

    Telephone: +49 (30) 343 84 670
    E-Mail: eat@rdo-berlin.de
    www.rdo-berlin.de

  • Restaurant Deutsche Oper / Service during Intervals

    The Restaurant Deutsche Oper greets you as a guest not only at the interval foyers, but also every day from 9 h in the restaurant, offering high-quality, light German cuisine with excellent service. You can dine there before or after the performance together with friends or artists. At the website www.rdo-berlin.de , you can find the complete menus for food and drinks for the bar area in the foyer and the Restaurant Deutsche Oper.

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Shop „Musik & Literatur“

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Shop „Musik & Literatur“

  • The Shop „Musik & Literatur“ in der Deutschen Oper Berlin has a high-grade selection of literature, books about the arts, cultural and theatre magazines as well as CDs and DVDs.

    The shop is open 1 hour before the beginning of the performance and until the last interval.

    Telephone: +49 (30) 343 84 649.
    Internet www.velbrueck.de/dob

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Opera Glasses

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Opera Glasses

  • In der Deutschen Oper Berlin verleihen oder verkaufen wir das Opernglas SCALA der Firma Bresser.

    Verleih an den ersten beiden Garderoben links und rechts und bei den Platzanweisern an den Saalzugängen gegen eine Leihgebühr von € 3,– sowie Abgabe Ihres Personalausweises als Pfand. Reservierung ist nicht möglich.

    Verkauf an den ersten beiden Garderoben links und rechts zum Preis von € 45,–.

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History

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About the Deutsche Oper Berlin

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About the Deutsche Oper Berlin

It amounted to a minor revolutionary act. Over a century ago a group of Berliners took the plunge and founded the Deutsche Oper in Charlottenburg, an unincorporated suburb of the city at the time. Set up with the stated intention of airing the modern musical theatre of the likes of Richard Wagner, their opera house was offered a clear alternative to the venerable Hofoper on Unter den Linden. Moreover, with more than 2,000 seats, the Bismarckstraße venue was not only larger than any other theatre in Berlin; it also dispensed with boxes, thereby reflecting the ethos of a “democratic” opera house, in which all visitors had an unimpeded view of the stage, regardless of where they sat. This tradition of a citizens’ opera house devoid of pomp and plush was retained in the new premises built by Fritz Bornemann in 1961. Today as then the excellent visibility and acoustics provide the framework for evening after evening of superb musical and theatrical performances. And the spacious foyers with their newly appreciated elegance remain one of the capital’s key cultural meeting places.

Directors such as Götz Friedrich and Hans Neuenfels, conductors of the likes of Ferenc Fricsay, Giuseppe Sinopoli and Christian Thielemann and once-in-a-century singers such as Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Christa Ludwig and Julia Varady have contributed to the history of the venue and placed the Deutsche Oper firmly on the international map. This tradition of attracting top-drawer names is ongoing, with vocal artists of international standing appearing alongside the first-class ensemble in the opera house’s rich repertoire of productions. Strauss and Puccini are as much a feature of the programme as the modern opera of Helmut Lachenmann’s THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL and Iannis Xenakis’ ORESTEIA. The orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin under the musical direction of Donald Runnicles is one of the country’s supreme ensembles and can also be found playing in the Berlin Philharmonie during the city’s Musikfest, giving gala performances in the Baden Baden Festspielhaus and guesting at the BBC Proms. The opera house’s acclaimed chorus has been voted “Chorus of the Year” a number of times.

Deutsche Oper Berlin productions cover the full spectrum of styles, encompassing a classical, naturalistic TOSCA from 1969, the incorporation of filmed sequences into RIENZI by director Philipp Stölzl and works such as Jan Bosse’s RIGOLETTO and Christof Loy’s FALSTAFF that reflect more recent developments in theatre. Robert Carsen’s production of THE LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES is a further instance of the Deutsche Opera’s high quality: based on an Italian play, composed by a Russian, sung in French and premiered in the USA, Sergei Prokofiev’s THE LOVE FOR THREE ORANGES is probably the most international of the triumphant productions on the opera house’s repertoire. Yet this whacky tale of a lovesick prince and his ‘orange’ princess is more than simply a fairytale; it is a comment on the nature of theatre itself. Canadian star director Robert Carsen delivers a two-hour tour de force covering aspects of Berlin’s theatre and show history. Ranging from Brecht to the Berlin Film Festival, it is witty, hectic, satirical and guaranteed to entertain.

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History Of The Opera House

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History Of The Opera House

The History of the Opera house at Charlottenburg

From the beginning in 1912, the history of the Deutsche Oper Berlin at Bismarckstrasse strongly reflected the history of the city of Berlin. Probably the greatest mark was left by the night of November 23, 1943, when bombs destroyed the original building of the „Deutsches Opernhaus“, halting temporarily a promising artistic development. After the opening of the “Deutsches Opernhaus” on November 7, 1912, the opera quickly became a popular and well-known opera house for the citizens. The opera’s management decided to engage only the world’s top-class conductors and excellent singers - a tradition that continues until today.

But despite public appreciation the opera soon got into financial difficulties. Revolution and economic crisis resulted in subscription slumps. High lease payments to the city of Charlottenburg, then owner of the premise, made things worse. The original stock corporation, led by the “Großer Berliner Opernverein e.V.” (Grand Berlin Opera Society) which had initiated the founding of the house, withdrew. In 1925 the City of Berlin took over; the name was changed from “Deutsches Opernhaus” to “Städtische Oper” (Municipal Opera). The intention was to establish the house as a representative site for ambitious musical theatre - with Bruno Walter, student of Gustav Mahler, as musical director and Heinz Tietjen, former head of the theater in Breslau, as Intendant (General Manager).

It worked. A new era began with the gala performance of Richard Wagner’s DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG. The ensemble was enriched by famous singers. The opera became a cultural focus in a city which bustled with creativity and innovative spirit during the 20’s. This was achieved by meticulously working on the established repertory, on a number of unknown late 19th-century oeuvres and on the operas of Wolfgang Amadé Mozart, to which Bruno Walter felt especially affiliated. Scandalous novelties such as Ernst Krenek’s JONNY SPIEL AUF or Kurt Weill’s one-act plays DER PROTAGONIST and DER ZAR LÄSST SICH PHOTOGRAPHIEREN contributed to the fact that the “Städtische Oper” succesfully rivaled the other two opera stages in Berlin, the “Königliche Hofoper Unter den Linden” (Royal Opera) and the Kroll Opera, which opened in 1927.

At the end of the 1920’s disagreements between Bruno Walter und Heinz Tiedjen, who was also working for the Royal Opera, led the “Städtische Oper” into a crisis which could not be solved until Carl Ebert took over as general manager. Under his leadership, the house regained high artistic reputation. Important conductors and great directors were engaged, among them Gustaf Gründgens with a much-noted production of Offenbach’s DIE BANDITEN. Eberts own work as director, for example the world premiere of Kurt Weill’s DIE BÜRGSCHAFT in March 1932 and a legendary production of UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (conducted by Fritz Busch) in the fall of that year, were climaxes in the history of the opera house at Bismarckstrasse.

Yet even at this early time indications of impending decay became visible: Violent actions against alleged “non-german” art appeared regularly on the agenda. A few weeks after power was transferred into the hands of the National Socialists a group of SA-men stormed the “Städtische Oper”. The aim was to force Carl Ebert into endorsing the NS-way of looking at art. He preferred emigration and founded, together with Fritz Busch, the Glyndebourne Festival. Doing so, he set standards for creative opera work that are still valid today. In 1934, the opera house in Charlottenburg became a property of the Reich and was reassigned to the propaganda ministry. With ostentation, it was named “Deutsches Opernhaus” once again. Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels personally saw to it that a mainly German repertoire – which was at that time, due to sufficient funding, still remarkable – replaced the works of despised modern composers. The house was modified so the new regime could make better use of it for representative purposes. A „Führerloge“ (special box for the Führer) was installed, contrary to the original idea of a classless auditorium without boxes. According to plans from Paul Baumgarten, new administrative buildings and work shops were erected, which are in parts still preserved today. For the first time since the opera was founded, the ballet took over a leading role in the repertory.

After the beginning of the war and despite considerable damage caused by air raids in 1943, performances were still being staged at that time. But during the night from November 22 to 23, fire bombs wrecked the opera house almost completely. On January 30, 1944, the administrative wing was also smashed. Acting continued at the “Admiralspalast” in Friedrichstrasse, but in autumn 1944 the curtain fell there – as it did at all other theatres. Total war let music fall silent.

A few months after the end of the war, among misery and destruction, there were already first attempts to re-establish acting. At the “Theater des Westens”, which was almost intact, the orchestra gave concerts. The Allies had a specific interest in the cultural reconstruction of Berlin and decided with the Berlin Magistrate to rebuild the opera house at Bismarckstrasse. With their support, the “Theater des Westens” was fixed up as provisional opera stage and opened on September 4 with Beethoven’s FIDELIO. Since all the inventory of stage design and all costumes had been destroyed, General Manager Michael Bohnen had to build a repertoire from scratch. He succeeded with the help of his orchestra and a partially new, highly motivated ensemble and built a repertoire that continued pre-war traditions. The “Städtische Oper”, as it was once again called, under Bohnen and later once more under Heinz Tietjen was able to lay foundations for the subsequent success of the house. In the 50’s the ensemble was dominated by artists such as Ferenc Fricsay, who was Musical Director from 1948 to 1952, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Grümmer, Martha Musial, Josef Greindl or Ernst Haefliger, to name but a few. Carl Ebert once again took over as General Manager from 1954 to 1961 and gave important artistic impulses. He oversaw the return of the ensemble to the house at Bismarckstrasse, which had been, in the meantime, newly constructed.

On September 24, 1961, the building, designed by Fritz Bornemann, was opened with Mozart’s DON GIOVANNI. At Ferenc Fricsay’s suggestion, the “Städtische Oper” became the “Deutsche Oper Berlin”. The opening took place once again in times of great political and social upheaval. Six weeks before, on August 13, 1961, the East German regime had put up a wall which separated the eastern half of Berlin – and thus the “Staatsoper” and “Komische Oper” – from the western half. Berlin had become an island, and the Deutsche Oper Berlin one of the most important national cultural sites in Germany – and for the people of West-Berlin the only opera stage.

After the opening, which meant the end of Carl Ebert’s term as General Manager, Gustav Rudolf Sellner took over. He had directed a sensational scenic debut performance of Arnold Schönerg’s MOSES UND ARON at the “Theater des Westens”. In 1965 he engaged the young conductor Lorin Maazel as General Musical Director. Maazel lead the orchestra to mastery achievements. Conductors Karl Böhm and Eugen Jochum reinforced their commitment to the house. During the following years the Deutsche Oper Berlin grew into a cultural hub which attracted guest stars from all over the world. Young talents were discovered – they would later go on to sing at all great international stages: Evelyn Lear, Gundula Janowitz, José van Dam, Pilar Lorengar, Leonie Rysanek, Anja Silja or Agnes Baltsa. Countless guest performances lead the ensemble to many outstanding European stages, to the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City or, in the 60`s, three times to Japan. Exemplary performances of important repertoire plays, groundbreaking productions of younger directors, which often made possible totally new perceptions of well-know and still unknown works of modernity, and model productions of Wagner such as those by the Bayreuth reformer Wieland Wagner made the opera at Bismarckstrasse one of the leading international opera houses. Under Egon Seefehlner, who took over as general director in 1972, this development continued. He engaged Jesús López Cobos and Gerd Albrecht as principal conductor. After Seefehlner had left for the “Staatsoper” in Vienna, the renowned Cellist Siegfried Palm took over as General Manager in 1976. After some initial difficulties, he managed to achieve important successes. Edita Gruberova had her debut as Lucia di Lammermoor, Siegfried Jerusalem and Barbara Hendricks started their careers, and conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli elated the audience and professional circles. And another great talent made his debut at the Deutsche Oper Berlin: Götz Friedrich, student of Walter Felsenstein, directed for the first time in 1977 at that house which he would give, as General Manager a few years later, a distinctive profile.

Götz Friedrich started out with a production of Leos Janácek's AUS EINEM TOTENHAUS. The enthralling work was the beginning of a new era at Bismarckstrasse. Absorbing theater, vivid opera – Artistic Driector and General Manager Götz Friedrich led the house to highest international reputation. The ensemble was enlarged by important singer celebrities. Conductors such as Horst Stein, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Marcello Viotti, Christoph Prick and Peter Schneider formed the musical profile of the house. Together with Götz Friedrich, Jesús López Cobos started out as general music director, since the 1990/91 season Jiøi Kout was principal conductor at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. In 1992/93 Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos took over the lead of the orchestra, until in 1997/98 Christian Thielemann took office as General Music Director and Artistic Director of the concerts.

Well-known guest directors, among them Herbert Wernicke, Jean-Pierre Ponnelle, John Dew, Günter Krämer, Hans Neuenfels or Achim Freyer created highlights in the extraordinarily innovative repertoire of those years. Despite its diversity the repertoire was characterised by the works of the opera’s manager and director Götz Friedrich. The quantity and quality of his groundbreaking productions, among them an exemplary interpretation of Richard Wagner’s DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, cannot be summarised in a few sentences, nor can his influence on the musical life of his city, which he gave important impulses until his death in December 2000.

Götz Friedrich was succeeded by the General Manager of the opera in Leipzig, Udo Zimmermann, who composed works such as LEVINS MÜHLE and DIE WEISSE ROSE and is considered to be an accounted specialist for New Music. He led the Deutsche Oper Berlin from August 2001 to June 2003. His concept was continuity and renewal. Many of Götz Friedrich’s productions and important works of Hans Neuenfels and Achim Freyer were kept alive in the repertory. DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN experienced a reuptake. Zimmerman’s first season was marked by two programmatic events: Peter Konwitschny directed Luigi Nonos INTOLLERANZA and architect Daniel Libeskind realised his scenic vision of Olivier Messiaen’s SAINT FRANCOIS D´ASSISE. Zimmerman took some rarely played works into the repertoire: Mozart’s IDOMENEO directed by Hans Neuenfels, Cherubini’s MÉDÉE directed by Karl-Ernst and Ursel Herrmann, or Rossini’s SEMIRAMIDE directed by Kirsten Harms. The theatrical experiment to scenically realise Verdi’s MESSA DA REQUIEM by Achim Freyer became an audience success. During the 2003|04 season the opera was headed provisionally by Peter Sauerbaum, Managing director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Heinz-Dieter Sense, Artistic Manager of the house.

In the 2004|05 season the former director of the opera in Kiel, Kirsten Harms, became the General Manager of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. For the first time in the history of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, this position is held by a woman. In the 2011/2012 season Dietmar Schwarz became the General Manager of the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Donald Runnicles has been appointed General Music Director from August 2009.


Architecture / Hiring Our Rooms

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Berlins most modern opera house with its...

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Berlins most modern opera house with its elegant retro-design

Sober and cool, but also monumental and impressive – that’s how the facade of the Deutsche Oper Berlin presents itself since it was built in 1961 at Bismarckstrasse in Berlin-Charlottenburg. The 88 slabs of washed-out concrete chosen by Architect Fritz Bornemann to design the main facade evoke no memory of the previous classic column portico of the former „Deutsches Opernhaus”, which was destroyed during World War II. And thus they caused controversies in the contest’s jury even before construction began: The facade was, in the view of its opponents, lacking artistic formation.

But exactly this implemented wall symbolizes Bornemann’s theoretical attitude towards architecture. It conceals and protects the actual philosophy of the building. When passing through the entrance and the ground floor lobby, taking the staircase (a sculpture itself) and eventually reaching the main foyer, the clear beauty of Bornemann’s architecture reveals itself. In the foyer, visitors experience an open, simple and reduced elegance which is unique among Berlin’s other cultural buildings.

The foyer on the first floor stretches windowless parallel to Bismarckstrasse. Looking inside out, only some of the opera’s immediate surroundings and some parts of the city are visible through huge glass windows on either side. These windows stretch all the way up from the ground to the top of the building. Breaking with traditional images of theatres that open up towards public space with a glass front, Bornemann put all his faith in introvert structures and closeness. He wanted the audience to concentrate on the performance inside.

The original concept from 1953 even envisaged a foyer without any windows at all. Any outside disturbance of the audience, any distraction by typical foyer functions such as snack bars, toilets and emergency exits were to be avoided. In a modified concept two years later Bornemann abandoned total isolation from the environment in favour of an interesting interaction of closed and open areas. Foyer functions were cleverly banished into the side wings. The foyers on the first and second floor could retain their architectural clarity and the audience’s concentration would still be on the performance.

No feeling for continuous space can emerge. It is being prevented by different materials such as dark tinted olive wall panels that reach up to the ceiling in the main foyer, a fine single coloured velour carpet and varied light concepts on all three floors. Boundaries between areas are accentuated by thresholds and discreet change of materials. The meagre décor modestly steps back in favour of the characteristical expression and the functionality of the building.

The auditorium presents itself in the same symbiosis of highest functionality, sober architectural language and very peculiar aesthetic charisma. Like Richard Wagner, Bornemann understood the auditorium as a „serving receptacle“ with unlimited sight from all seats. No obstacles prevent the audience from observing closely what’s happening on stage. The emphasis is not on collective savouring of art, but on the individual sensation of an opera evening. Every seat - including the carriage-like side boxes - faces the stage strictly radial. Interaction of the audience – possible and common in classical theatre’s tiers and boxes – is impossible inside the auditorium.

The auditorium’s aesthetics are a reminder of sound-optimised record studios of the 50’s. It provides the same excellent acoustic qualities. High-class wall panelling with zebrano wood, straight, minimized and tasteful colouring and precise illumination emphasize the importance of the performance in the Deutsche Oper Berlin – and not the social occasion.

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The Foyers in pictures

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Hiring Our Rooms

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Hiring Our Rooms

  • Contact:
    Deutsche Oper Berlin
    Richard-Wagner-Straße 10
    10585 Berlin [GERMANY]
    Information and Tickets: +49 (0)30 - 343 84 343

    Information and Prices:
    Markus Winterstein
    Assistent of the Executive Director
    Telephon: +49 (0)30 34384 199
    Fax: +49 (0)30 34384 682
    E-mail: winterstein@deutscheoperberlin.de

  • Would you like to organise an event for your clients or employees in the exclusive atmosphere of the foyer of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and round off the day with a visit to the opera?