The far-right AfD party is turning up the pressure on Germany’s theaters and opera houses. They’re hitting back forcefully, with action and satire.  (Financial Times, 8/26/19; The Atlantic, 10/28/19)

In praise of Richard Strauss’s Salome: “The score is at once staggeringly original, more than a little trashy, and unsettling in its sexual and racial politics. When the clarinet slithers up a disjointed scale at the outset of the piece, the curtain effectively goes up on twentieth-century music.”  (The New Yorker, 8/21/19)

The Magic Flute meets Weimar Berlin: “The sheer inventiveness of the staging, its fantastical mix of animation and live action, is hard to resist.”  (The New York Times, 7/18/19)

It’s time for that strange, centuries-old tradition of passing on the Iffland Ring to the “most worthy” actor who performs in German. The new recipient is Jens Harzer.  (The New York Times, 6/12/19)

There’s just a few days left to see Anna at London’s National Theatre. Set in 1968 East Berlin, Ella Hickson’s play asks its audience to put on headphones and “spy on the lives of a nation gripped by revolutionary promise.”  (The Guardian, 5/16/19; The Arts Desk, 5/22/19)

A rare performance of The Tsar Wants His Photograph Taken, a 1927 operetta by Kurt Weill and Georg Kaiser, took place in London.  (The Guardian, 4/27/19; The Times of Israel, 5/19/19)

“When it comes to cutting-edge drama, more is more” at Theatertreffen Berlin.  (The New York Times, 5/16/19; Hyperallergic, 5/18/19)

Headphones on! Here’s a handy introduction to the leitmotifs of Wagner’s Ring cycle.  (The New York Times, 4/23/19)

“This is a play about the care that people, and nations, owe to the weakest among them.” The off-Broadway production All Our Children takes on the euthanizing of the disabled in Nazi Germany.  (The Broadway Blog, 4/14/19; The New York Times, 4/17/19)

Maggie Smith returns to the London stage as Joseph Goebbels’s secretary Brunhilde Pomsel in a one-woman show based on the 2016 film documentary A German Life.  (The Guardian, 4/12/19; Financial Times, 4/15/19)

“4 new operas in 4 months? Only in Berlin.”  (The New York Times, 4/24/19)

What makes the scene between Wotan and Brünnhilde in Act II of Die Walküre the heart of the Ring Cycle, and also “one of the most profound depictions of a father-daughter relationship in all the arts”? Anthony Tommasini breaks it down.  (The New York Times, 3/19/19)

Wow! Three remarkable one-man shows in the German-speaking theater world—based on the career of conductor Karl Böhm, and also the novels Submission (Houellebecq) and The Tin Drum (Grass).  (The New York Times, 2/22/19)