The great vocalists of the last century, including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Luciano Pavarotti, Christa Ludwig, and Julia Varady, conductors like Ferenc Fricsay, Giuseppe Sinopoli, and Christian Thielemann, and directors like Götz Friedrich and Hans Neuenfels have helped write the history of the building and bring an international flair to the Deutsche Oper.
The opera house continues this tradition into the present: the breadth of works staged at the Deutsche Oper Berlin ranges from the classic / naturalist TOSCA from 1969 to a directorial concept involving film in RIENZI (directed by Philipp Stölzl) to productions like RIGOLETTO (directed by Jan Bosse), FALSTAFF (directed by Christof Loy), AIDA (directed by Benedikt von Peter) or SALOME (directed by Claus Guth), which reflect more recent developments at the theater. A rich repertoire of performances includes international star singers and first-class ensembles alike. Modern examinations of the great classics, from Mozart to Verdi and Wagner, to Strauss and Puccini, also play a key role at the theater. So do modern operas – such as Helmut Lachenmann’s DAS MÄDCHEN MIT DEN SCHWEFELHÖLZERN, Iannis Xenakis’ ORESTEIA, Georg Friedrich Haas‘ MORGEN UND ABEND or, for the 2016/2017 season, the inaugural performance of Andrea Lorenzo Scartazzini’s EDWARD II, for 2017/2018 Aribert Reimann's L'INVISIBLE, for 2018/2019 Detlev Glanert's OCEANE and now, in November 2019, the world premiere of Chaya Czernowin's HEART CHAMBER will take place.
Besides modern works, the Deutsche Oper Berlin has a clear focus on composers whose life’s work is underrepresented in current repertoires. Under the leadership of General Musical Director Donald Runnicles, the opera on Bismarckstraße has staged Leos Janácek with productions of DAS SCHLAUE FÜCHSLEIN (directed by Katharina Thalbach), JENUFA (directed by Christof Loy, available for purchase as a Grammy-nominated DVD), and DIE SACHE MAKROPULOS (directed by David Hermann). It is also working on a Benjamin Britten cycle with PETER GRIMES and BILLY BUDD (directed by David Alden), THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA (directed by Fiona Shaw) and DEATH IN VENICE (directed by Graham Vick). In the upcoming season, one special artistic treat will be a presentation of the operatic works of Giacomo Meyerbeer, who was once among the greatest Berlin composers but is now almost forgotten.Works by the composer that have either already been performed or are in the planning stages include: DINORAH ODER DIE WALLFAHRT NACH PLOËRMEL (concertante, CD-publication planned for 2016), VASCO DA GAMA (directed by Vera Nemirova), DIE HUGENOTTEN (2016, directed by David Alden), and DER PROPHET (2017, directed by Olivier Py).
The orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, under General Music Director Donald Runnicles, ranks among the most outstanding musical ensembles in the country. Besides opera evenings, audiences can enjoy the orchestra during the Musikfest Berlin, at gala concerts in the Baden-Baden Festspielhaus, and at the BBC Prom. The renowned chorus has been named “Chorus of the Year” multiple times in the past for its outstanding achievements.