Lars Gebhardt explains ...

The secret genie

Composer Rued Langgaard was far ahead of his time. Nobody in 1920s Denmark wanted to hear his music.

"It is often an unfortunate combination of personal idiosyncrasies and external circumstances that stand between talent and success. Rued Langgaard was a codger, a lifelong outsider of Danish musical history. The sounds that he composed were extremely modern. But in Denmark there was no recognition for an eccentric like him.

Actually, the pieces were all laid out: Langgaard's parents were pianists. He was treated like a prodigy, composed, held concerts. His 1st symphony was premiered by the Berliner Philharmonic in 1913. Yet then his ideas outpaced the era. The pianists is said to have drummed on the top of the piano lid and plucked the strings. The 12th symphony includes the instruction, 'Chaos – a composer explodes'. His opera ANTIKRIST remains unperformed. His contemporaries declare: incomprehensible libretto, unlistenable sounds.

Langgaard receives his first long-term position in 1940 at the age of 47 – at Ribe Cathedral, in the furthest reaches of the country. There, too, he composes as though possessed. The works become more angular, announcing a minimalism that once again arrives too early. Langgaard's achievement is only praised after his death. During preparations for the 'Nordic Music Days' in 1968 his scores reach the hands of György Ligeti, the forerunner of New Music. Ligeti was engrossed in the reading, and declared, we have to perform this work. However, today only the initiated are familiar with Rued Langgaard – thankfully that will change soon."


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Adventskalender im Foyer: Das 7. Fensterchen

Today in the foyer: "Now Christmas is here again"
with the small choir of the children's chorus, Rosemarie Arzt and Jisu Park
5.00 p.m. / Parquet foyer
Duration: approx. 25 minutes / free admission

Before joining the large children's and youth chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the basics of choral singing must be learnt from the ground up. That's why there's the small chorus in the children's chorus. Here, under the expert direction of Rosemarie Arzt, children between the ages of 6 and 10 practise and learn to sing. Today you can experience the smallest of the little ones with their Advent and Christmas programme and songs such as "Jetzt ist wieder Weihnacht da" or "Lied von den Schneeflocken".

Around 150 active singers make up our children's chorus, which is an important and heavily involved ensemble partner in numerous operas. The members come together at least twice a week to make music under the direction of Christian Lindhorst. Over the course of the 2023/24 season, the children and young people aged between 9 and 16 have performed in CARMEN, PAGLIACCI, LA BOHÈME, MATTHÄUS-PASSION, HÄNSEL UND GRETEL, PARSIFAL, PIQUE DAME, TOSCA and TURANDOT. Since last season, choral soloists from the children's and youth choir have also sung the part of the three boys in performances of DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE. In external performances and concerts at venues such as the Chamber Music Hall of the Philharmonie, the children's chorus of Deutsche Oper Berlin covers a range from baroque to modern. On 17 December 2023, the chorus will perform Johann Sebastian Bach's "Christmas Oratorio" together with the Kammersymphonie Berlin at the Apostel-Paulus-Kirche in Schöneberg. Two solo sopranos - Erik Kellner and Klara Gothe - are cast from the choir's own ranks!

The children's chorus is sponsored by Dobolino e.V.