The Dwarf

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January 2022

Program and cast

Opera in one act
Libretto by Georg C. Klaren, based on Oscar Wilde's „The Birthday of the Infanta“
First performed on 28th May, 1922 in Cologne
Premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin on 24th March, 2019

As a prologue
Arnold Schönberg (1874 – 1951)
Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielscene für Orchester op. 34 (1930)

In German language with German and English surtitles

1 hrs 30 mins / no interval

Pre-performance lecture (in German): 45 minutes prior to each performance


Musical direction: Sir Donald Runnicles

Production: Tobias Kratzer

Stage, costumes: Rainer Sellmaier

Lighting: Stefan Woinke

Choirs: Jeremy Bines

Donna Clara: Heidi Stober

Ghita: Emily Magee

The Dwarf: David Butt Philip

The Dwarf (performer): Mick Morris Mehnert

Don Estoban: Philip Jekal

The first maid: Flurina Stucki

The second maid: Arianna Manganello

The third maid: Karis Tucker

The first girl: So Young Park

The second girl Kristina Häger

Alma Schindler (pianist): Adelle Eslinger-Runnicles

Alexander von Zemlinsky (Pianist): Evgeny Nikiforov

Choirs: Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Orchestra: Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin

Deutsche Oper Berlin

The Deutsche Oper Berlin is an opera company located in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, Germany. The resident building is the country's second largest opera house and also home to the Berlin State Ballet.

The company's history goes back to the Deutsches Opernhaus built by the then independent city of Charlottenburg—the "richest town of Prussia"—according to plans designed by Heinrich Seeling from 1911. It opened on November 7, 1912 with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio, conducted by Ignatz Waghalter. After the incorporation of Charlottenburg by the 1920 Greater Berlin Act, the name of the resident building was changed to Städtische Oper (Municipal Opera) in 1925.


Deutsches Opernhaus, 1912
With the Nazi Machtergreifung in 1933, the opera was under control of the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Minister Joseph Goebbels had the name changed back to Deutsches Opernhaus, competing with the Berlin State Opera in Mitte controlled by his rival, the Prussian minister-president Hermann Göring. In 1935, the building was remodeled by Paul Baumgarten and the seating reduced from 2300 to 2098. Carl Ebert, the pre-World War II general manager, chose to emigrate from Germany rather than endorse the Nazi view of music, and went on to co-found the Glyndebourne opera festival in England. He was replaced by Max von Schillings, who acceded to enact works of "unalloyed German character". Several artists, like the conductor Fritz Stiedry or the singer Alexander Kipnis followed Ebert into emigration. The opera house was destroyed by a RAF air raid on 23 November 1943. Performances continued at the Admiralspalast in Mitte until 1945. Ebert returned as general manager after the war.

After the war, the company in what was now West Berlin used the nearby building of the Theater des Westens until the opera house was rebuilt. The sober design by Fritz Bornemann was completed on 24 September 1961. The opening production was Mozart's Don Giovanni. The new building opened with the current name.

© Günter Karl Bose
© Monika Rittershaus
© Bettina Stöß
© Monika Rittershaus
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