EN­TER­TAIN­MENT

Solveig Steinhardt trav­eled back to Berlin’s 1930s to dis­cover a lost Broad­way-style genre.

Where Berlin - - CONTENTS -

Join Bar­rie Kosky as he brings back the magic of Berlin's op­eretta genre of the 1930s.

In the imag­i­nary South Amer­i­can coun­try of Boliguay, a movie crew is try­ing to cross the bor­der to be­gin shoot­ing their film, but the coun­try’s army of rev­o­lu­tion­ary Ama­zons de­nies ac­cess. The only way for the film crew to en­ter the coun­try is to find a Boliguayan hus­band for the movie’s main character, Clivia. Writ­ten by Nico Dostal in the 1930s, Clivia is a great ex­am­ple of the Berlin op­eretta genre, a sort of fore­run­ner of the Broad­way mu­si­cal. Be­cause most op­eretta com­posers and per­form­ers were Jewish, the genre was banned by the Nazis, only to be re­dis­cov­ered more than 80 years later by Komis­che Oper art di­rec­tor Bar­rie Kosky. “Think of a theater work in which cabaret meets bur­lesque meets jazz meets standup meets big show meets opera meets a Broad­way mu­si­cal,” Kosky told WHERE Berlin. And this is ex­actly what Clivia is all about: en­com­pass­ing all clichés and star­ring Ger­man mu­si­cal cabaret artists Geschwis­ter Pfis­ter, this highly hu­mor­ous per­for­mance in­cludes a wide range of char­ac­ters, from the un­likely cou­ple to the nosey Amer­i­can re­porter, the rev­o­lu­tion­ary leader and the Berlin in­ven­tor, and also fea­tures ex­cit­ing mo­ments of Fred As­taire-style danc­ing and fast-paced hu­mor­ous en­sem­bles. Clivia is not the only op­eretta that Bar­rie Kosky re­vived. In his years at the opera theater, he has brought back other shows, all in Ger­man but with English sur­titles, like Ball im Savoy, Die schöne He­lena, or Eine Frau, die weiss, was sie will. In an at­tempt to bring back the magic of the Berlin 1930s, this month the Komis­che Oper will be pre­sent­ing its first Berlin Op­eretta Fes­ti­val from 24 Jan­uary to 8 Fe­bru­ary, with a rich pro­gram of Kosky’s re­dis­cov­ered op­erettas and op­eretta-re­lated per­for­mances. And if you are cu­ri­ous to see Kosky him­self in all his the­atri­cal splen­dor, do not miss him on stage on 27 Jan­uary, when he will be ac­com­pa­ny­ing singers Alma Sadé and He­lene Sch­nei­der­man in Farges Mikh Nit, a se­ries of Yid­dish op­eretta songs of ex­ile and home­sick­ness.

“Cabaret meets bur­lesque meets jazz meets standup meets big show meets

Broad­way mu­si­cal”

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