It's hard to believe that I hadn't been to the German capital since 2005 and I have to admit that I had forgotten what an enjoyable city is, and even more so since the process of bringing together a divided city after the German reunification finally seems to have ended. Most of the old buildings have been beautifully restored and there's an abundance of green space and water everywhere. One almost never has the feeling to be in a big city.
Yet, the most astonishing thing about Berlin for me is the abundance of culture. With three big opera companies, at least three major symphony orchestras, some of the most important companies for German theatre, museums, galleries etc. one would have to spend weeks there to even scratch the surface. In my three days there I got to see a performance of Turandot at the Deutsche Oper, a concert of the Berliner Philharmoniker at the Philharmonie (still one of the most stunning concert halls in the world), with Simone Rattle conducting Berg's Pieces for Orchestra op. 6 and Mahler's Symphony No. 6, and a performance of Elektra at the Schillertheater, the exile of the State Opera while the old opera house is under renovation. Elektra was sung by the stunning German soprano Evelyn Herlitzius, one of the most intense and accurately sung accounts of the role I've heard live, and conducted by our own Music Director Johannes Debus. I'm happy that we have some Strauss for him coming up at the COC as well. He's so good at it.
I'm writing this from London where I arrived this morning for another three days of meetings and performances.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (0) / permalink
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