Xian Zhang, Tine Thing Helseth

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March 2022
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Program and cast

Conductor: Xian Zhang
Soloist: Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet


Ferdinand Ries Overture to Schiller's tragedy The Bride of Messina op. 162
Johann Nepomuk Hummel Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E flat major
Robert Schumann Symphony No. 1 in B flat major op. 38 Spring Symphony


Emerging from Beethoven’s Shadow!—Chinese-American conductor Xian Zhang is critically acclaimed worldwide for her conducting, which is as precise as it is sensitive. She turns to a remarkably theatrical work with Ferdinand Ries's overture to Schiller's tragedy The Bride of Messina, which spent a long time, unjustly, in the shadow of Beethoven. With Johann Nepomuk Hummel's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E flat major, the Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth takes on an outright classic at the crossover to musical Romanticism. It is also the trumpet that blares a mighty »Yes!« to the world and to life, right at the beginning of Robert Schumann's Spring Symphony. A compositional highlight in the work of this exceptional artist— Sound the trumpet!

Komische Oper Berlin

Since the construction of the venue in Behrenstraße (which opened as the “Theater Unter den Linden” in 1892), the Komische Oper Berlin has at various times been a consistent international trend-setter in the world of musical theatre. As the leading theatre for operettas and revues in the 1920s, it fundamentally shaped the Berlin, and hence international, entertainment scene. Following the Second World War, Walter Felsenstein’s concept of musical theatre revolutionised European opera, and to this day it remains an important point of reference for the great majority of musical theatre directors seeking to be contemporary in their work. This inspirational international influence as a trend-setter in innovative musical theatre is reflected in the many artistic careers which began at the Komische Oper Berlin – including those of the directors Götz Friedrich and Harry Kupfer as well as the conductors Otto Klemperer, Kurt Masur, Yakov Kreizberg, and Kirill Petrenko.

In 2012, Barrie Kosky took over from Andreas Homoki as the Artistic Director of the Komische Oper Berlin. He was joined by Henrik Nánási, the new General Music Director. The Komische Oper Berlin is versatile and flexible to a degree which is unusual for an opera house. This and the fixed ensemble of singer-performers are key characteristics of the Komische Oper Berlin under Kosky’s directorship. Kosky’s conceptual approach draws not only on the tradition set by Felsenstein, but also on the venue’s pre-war traditions, which were strongly shaped by Jewish actors and have hitherto received less attention. Felsenstein’s vision of opera as a form of musical theatre in which music and action are equally important components of a production is combined by Kosky with the demand that musical theatre should provide an experience which appeals to all the senses and which encompasses musical drama in all its forms, from the classic Mozart repertoire through to genre-defying projects.

 

The Komische Oper Berlin is located in the heart of the city, between the Brandenburg Gate, the Museumsinsel, and Checkpoint Charlie. The theatre building in Behrenstraße was built at the end of the 19th century according to plans drawn up by Austrian architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer. The building was destroyed during the last days of the war, although fortunately the stage and auditorium survived almost unscathed. The Komische Oper was ceremonially inaugurated on 23rd December 1947 with Walter Felsenstein's production of Johann Strauss's Die Fledermaus. In 1965/1966 there was a fundamental expansion of the entire complex, designed by the architect Kunz Nierade. The neo-baroque, richly decorated auditorium - which today provides space for 1,190 visitors complete with new, comfortable seating and an integrated, multilingual translation system - was largely left in the original condition dating back to its creation in 1892, while the main facade in Behrenstraße was designed in the functional style of the 1960s. In 2005 the foyer was given a contemporary re-design by architect Stephan Braunfels, and now offers over 1,000 square metres of elegantly mirrored floor space for the provision of refreshments during intervals, for special events, and for chamber concerts, among other things.

 

The entrance to the Komische Oper Berlin is located in the Behrenstr., around 400 m from the Brandenburg Gate. 

 

Public transport

Local Trains and Trams 
Friedrichstrasse: RE 1, RE 2, RE 7 and RB 14; S 1, S 2, S 25, S 5, S 7
Brandenburger Tor: S 1, S 2, S 25

Underground Trains 
Französische Strasse, Stadtmitte: U 6
Stadtmitte, Mohrenstrasse: U 2
Brandenburger Tor: U 55

Bus
Unter den Linden, Friedrichstrasse: TXL, 100, 147, 200, N 2, N 6

Trams 
Friedrichstrasse: M 1, 12

Parking
Friedrichstadt Passage Car Park
Entrance from Jägerstrasse or Taubenstrasse, €4.50 per day (24 hours)

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