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Liebes Publikum, - Deutsche Oper Berlin

Dear Friends of the Deutsche Oper,

Dietmar Schwarz on the roof of the opera house © Max Zerrahn

Rarely have I been so struck by the rich expressive possibilities of musical theatre as when looking at the premieres coming up this season. Three of the works we present in new productions were premiered within a mere decade and a half: Strauss’ DIE FRAU OHNE SCHATTEN of 1919, Brecht/Weill ’s MAHAGONNY of 1930 and Respighi’s LA FIAMMA of 1934. These were extremely volatile years, when opera as an art form had to react to a continuously changing social situation. Despite their chronological proximity, it is hard to imagine more different tales and perspectives than those of these three operas. Where Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal depict humanistic ideals in the form of a fairy-tale, Brecht and Weill use the large-scale operatic form for a scathing critique of capitalism, while Respighi indulges in an opulent feast of emotions. And yet, in my mind these three pieces belong together, outlining the broad range of possibilities open to opera, demonstrating that there is not just one answer to the questions confronting people then and today. The multitude of possible answers is reflected by our varied repertoire and the contemporary musical theatre works we present. Then as now, composers work ever y day to expand this range of possibilities – and I am sure that the first opera by the great English composer Rebecca Saunders, the world premiere of which we will stage in June, will be a milestone among these efforts, a truly unique experience.

The 2024/25 season is my last as the artistic director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. Together with this company, but also with you, our faithful audience, I have had the good fortune to experience twelve years of inspiring, controversial, overwhelming and always spirited musical theatre. For this, I am grateful.

Make sure to remain curious. Yours, Dietmar Schwarz

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