From Libretto #4 (2023)

Props … Jochanaan’s head

Props master Matthias Jander explains how he decapitates opera singers

The most important prop in Richard Strauss’s SALOME is the head of Jochanaan, the prophet. Towards the end of the opera Salome is presented with the still-warm, hacked-off head that was the price she had demanded from Herod in return for her performing the dance of the seven veils. Many singers have had trouble doing the scene without the prop – hardly surprising, considering Salome’s final monologue is well nigh a duet with the severed head, which she ends up kissing. In Claus Guth’s production, there’s a head involved, but the story is slightly different: the scene is set in a 1950s gentlemen’s outfitters, whose owner, Herod himself, abused his stepdaughter Salome when she was a child. It’s his head that Salome sings to, which means we need a new head to represent each new singer playing Herod. We take a silicon cast of the face of the singer and have it stuck onto a mannequin’s head, complete with spectacles and wig. It’s also convenient, because shop-window mannequins are a common feature of menswear shops and Salome has a bone to pick with this aspect of her past.


News about the schedule
and the start of advance booking
Personal recommendations
Special offers ...
Stay well informed!

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our Newsletter and receive 25% off your next ticket purchase.

* Mandatory field



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.