Staatsoper Berlin Finally Reopens. Sort Of.

(New York Times) — After seven years of construction, the Staatsoper is finally preparing to reopen its doors on the historic Boulevard Unter den Linden, at least temporarily.

The work took much longer than expected — the company was originally scheduled to move back from its interim residence across town in the Schiller Theater four years ago — and the renovation costs spiraled from an estimated 239 million euros to 400 million ($473 million), half of which was covered by federal funds.

The season begins on Sept. 30 with a concert outside the opera house and continues on Oct. 3 with a new production of Schumann’s “Szenen aus Goethes Faust,” to be conducted by the music director, Daniel Barenboim, and staged by the current general director, Jürgen Flimm. Performances in the main theater will then be suspended for approximately two months, starting Oct. 8, so technicians can master the new computer-controlled stage equipment.

During that time, chamber opera and symphonic programs will take place in venues including the Neue Werkstatt, a repurposed orchestral rehearsal space in an adjacent building, until the house reopens permanently on Dec. 7 with a concert featuring works by Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Richard Strauss and Pierre Boulez, all composers who once conducted at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden.  […]