The Komische Oper staged Hans Werner Henze’s Raft of the Medusa on a giant swimming pool stage in a disused hangar of Berlin’s Tempelhof airport—not coincidentally, adjacent to refugee housing since 2015.  (The New York Times, 9/14/23; Financial Times, 9/18/23)

“The souffleur has all but vanished, except in Germany, where they sit in the front row—or even take to the stage.”  (The Guardian, 9/26/23)

 

Jennifer Homans attended Tanztheater Wuppertal’s performance of “Água,” but all she could see were ghosts: “If these young dancers have something to say, they will need their own form, not Pina Bausch’s. Her Germany is not their Germany, and dance, like history, is nontransferrable.” (The New Yorker, 3/27/23)

Linie 1 gets a new restaging and keeps that ’80s feeling alive. “The entire three-hour show plays out on west Berlin’s U1 underground line, which used to run from glitzy Wittenbergplatz to grotty Schlesisches Tor in the years before the Berlin Wall fell.”  (The Guardian, 4/16/23)

There’s a new recording of a Paul Dessau opera that was absent from stages for far too long: “Involving more than 30 solo singing roles, a nine-part chorus and a huge orchestra, as well as dancers and actors, Lanzelot was one of the most ambitious operas ever mounted in the GDR.”  (The Guardian, 1/12/23)

The cross-gender casting in a new production of The Threepenny Opera at the Vienna Volksoper isn’t just a gimmick, but a thoughtful experiment with Brechtian Verfremdung in a piece many theatergoers know all too well.  (The New York Times, 12/23/22)