Posters on the U-bahn proclaim Berlin Opernhauptstadt (opera capital) – and with reason. Not only does Germany have one-seventh of the world’s opera houses, but Berlin itself can count on three state-subsidised opera houses – a record not even matched by Italy. This cultural richness is not only a legacy of the city’s long artistic heritage but also of its Cold War division. East and West Berlin were both awash with state subsidies in a bid to demonstrate the cultural supremacy of communist and capitalist philosophy. After reunification there was twice the amount of everything, and, as a result, Berlin now boasts enough classical music for two (or maybe three) cities. The austere concrete Deutsche Oper building contains a stark modernist interior built in 1961 by Fritz Bornemann. Under the current directorship of Scotsman Donald Runnicles, the repertory combines visually striking adaptations of classics like Don Giovanni and Rigoletto with modern works by Benjamin Britten. Cheaper tickets usually sell out in advance but it’s worth arriving an hour early to try for returns.
|Venue name:||Deutsche Oper|
|Opening hours:||Box office 11am-start of performance Mon-Sat; 10am-2pm Sun (closed mid June-mid Aug and most of Nov & Dec)|
|Transport:||U2 Deutsche Oper|