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Komische Oper: Barrie Kosky presents a sumptuous farewell season at the end of his directorship in the 2021/22 season

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Barrie Kosky, Photo: Jan Windszus Photography

From music theatre classics to a Greek myth in the guise of 20th century opera and a Yiddish music theatre revue to new works: In his last season as artistic director, Barrie Kosky serves up a sumptuous menu of 11 new productions, 8 symphony concerts and a record-breaking 14 revivals, including some of the most striking productions of his directorship.

“This season is my last as artistic director and chief director. Like a performance, my directorship is slowly coming to an end. This is no reason for melancholy, nostalgia or adulation, but a natural and necessary process. Performances must come to an end so that new, exciting moments in theatre can arise. Directorships have to end so that new artistic paths can be taken. So I am looking forward to this last season like a last scene – without melancholy, but with curiosity and filled with the special moments of the past years. And I am very pleased that we have managed to postpone three important new productions, which had to be cancelled due to the pandemic in the past months, into my farewell season,” says Artistic Director and Chief Director Barrie Kosky.

Im Video spricht Barrie Kosky über Hoffnung, Zukunft, Kunst und die Highlights der Saison 2021/22. Zugeschaltet sind Künstler:innen der Neuproduktion und Generalmusikdirektor Ainārs Rubiķis.


The new productions of the season are dominated by 20th and 21st century music theatre: before Barrie Kosky presents his brand new reading of Kurt Weill’s and Bertolt Brecht’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (1930) with Allan Clayton as Jim Mahoney, he leaves the season opening to Evgeny Titov. Titov debuts another unique 20th century work, Œdipe (1936) from the pen of Romanian composer George Enescu, with Leigh Melrose taking the title role. The children’s opera Die Zaubermelodika (The Magic Melodica) by the Finnish jazz composer Iiro Rantala is another work commissioned by the Komische Oper Berlin and will be premiered in the autumn, closely followed by Jetske Mijnssen’s new production of Katja Kabanowa (1921) with Annette Dasch in the title role. In collaboration with the Turkish music group Kardeş Türküler, another new work is being created with the staged Brecht concert project Üçüncü mevki – Im Wagen dritter Klasse. Ex-director Andreas Homoki brings the late romantic music theatre comedy Schwanda, der Dudelsackpfeifer (1927) to the stage. Die Blume von Hawaii (1931) concludes the Paul Abraham series of concert operetta productions.
Three “classics” and an absolute rediscovery in revue form round off the programme: In December, Kosky’s Salzburg operetta success Orpheus in the Underworld can finally be experienced in Berlin. Finally, the new year opens with the return of director Damiano Michieletto and another work on the Orpheus myth: Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice. For the season finale, still-host Barrie Kosky presents the Berlin audience with a very special delicacy alongside Verdi’s Falstaff with Scott Hendricks in the title role: In Barrie Kosky’s All-Singing, All-Dancing Yiddish Revue he revives the Jewish-American culture of the post-war period together with companions such as Dagmar Manzel, Katharine Mehrling, Max Hopp, Helmut Baumann, the Pfister siblings and Ruth Brauer-Kvam – in Yiddish, of course!


In his last season as General Music Director, Ainārs Rubiķis conducts a total of four of the eight symphony concerts with the Komische Oper Berlin Orchestra and welcomes renowned soloists such as violinists Viviane Hagner and Baiba Skride, pianist Tzimon Barto and accordionist Ksenija Sidorova. The New Year’s Concert is themed “Cinema!” by Ainārs Rubiķis. The concert season opens in September with the Finnish pianist and composer Iiro Rantala, whose children’s opera The Magic Melodica will be premiered in November, with his compatriot Tarmo Peltokoski on the podium. Trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth returns to the Komische Oper Berlin, conductors Xian Zhang and Joshua Weilerstein make their house debuts, as does cellist Daniel Müller-Schott under the baton of Axel Kober. There will also be a reunion with violinist Daniel Hope.

Repertoire and revivals

Barrie Kosky’s last season as artistic director will see the return of many of his successful productions of the last nine years, some after long breaks, including Orpheus from the “Monteverdi Trilogy” with which he opened his tenure in 2012; Ball im Savoy,Die schöne Helena with FAUST Prize winner Nicole Chevalier in the title role, The Nose, Yevgeny Onegin and Les Contes d’Hoffmann. The other repertoire ranges from Anatevka to The Pearls of Cleopatra, Don Giovanni and The “Gypsy” Baron to The Magic Flute. And of course, the successful children’s opera production for the 2019/20 season is also back on the programme: Michael Ende’s Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer.

The official presale starts on Sunday, 15 August 2021, 11 am.

In order to be able to react better to current pandemic conditions if necessary, advance sales in the coming season will initially only be possible on a monthly basis and will begin on the 15th of each month for the following month. Depending on the general development, the regulation will be adjusted in the course of the season if necessary.

WHERE? Komische Oper, Behrenstraße 55-57, 10117 Berlin-Mitte (Main entrance, here also evening box office 1 hour before the performance or 1/2 hour for night and chamber concerts.)

TICKETS: Telephone +49 30 47 99 74 00, karten@komische-oper-berlin.de
Mon–Sat 9 am–8 pm Sun- & Holidays 2-8 pm

Opera Box Office: Unter den Linden 41, 10117 Berlin-Mitte, Mon–Sat 11 am – 7 pm
Sun – & Holidays 1 am – 4 pm

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