Ensemble and choir soloists
Constantly praised by the critics, and named »Best Opera Choir of the Season« in Opernwelt magazine's year book time and again – the choral soloists of the Komische Oper Berlin guarantee superlative singing as well as acting.
»Sublime physicality, musical esprit and phonetic plasticity«, is how Opernwelt magazine praised the choral soloists of the Komische Oper Berlin when naming them »Opera Choir of 2015«. And this assessment is not only one of the reasons behind the award, but also represents part of the answer as to why Walter Felsenstein – head director of the Komische Oper Berlin from 1947 to 1975 – chose the idiosyncratic description of »choral soloists« for the singers in his choir: because they are singers »who are contractually a part of the choir«, as Felsenstein put it, »but whose acting ability places them on an equal footing with the soloists«.
This is not only a fact known by the musical directors, but also something much appreciated by the countless directors who have worked with the choral soloists time and again, including Hans Neuenfels, Peter Konwitschny and Barrie Kosky.
Founded in 1947 under Leo Spies, the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin today encompasses 112 musicians. Among the renowned conductors who led the orchestra in the years which followed were Otto Klemperer, Václav Neumann and Kurt Masur. Rolf Reuter and Yakov Kreizberg were the later general music directors, before Kirill Petrenko took over this position in 2002, and was named Conductor of the Year in 2007. Carl St.Clair has been the general music director of the Komische Oper Berlin since the 2008/09 season. The new general music director since the 2012/13 season is Henrik Nánási. Every year, a total of around 180,000 people attend the 250 performances. Each season we offer seven new productions, around 18 revivals, eight symphony concerts, numerous foyer concerts, concerts for children, and special events.
Through its efforts to provide contemporary musical theatre, the Komische Oper Berlin has managed inspire a new, young audience with musical theatre. According to a visitors' survey conducted in collaboration with the polling institute forsa in 2008, the average age of visitors to the Komische Oper Berlin is only 44.9 years.