October 27, 2006
Deutsche Oper Berlin decided to reschedule Idomeneo for two performances before the end of the year. All this controversy certainly is suspect, perhaps it is true that no publicity is bad publicity. I suppose if I were running an opera house in a city with two other major competitors, I might try a few stunts myself. Particularly when the house in question may well be the ugliest one in all the land. The building dates from 1961, as should be obvious. Berlin's "most modern opera house" is said to have an "elegant retro-design," but I cannot say the concrete block is inspiring in any way. The inside is even more horrid, what with the dated wood paneling and mustard-yellow upholstery. One only hopes that in a few decades the kitsch-factor will become humorous instead of just painful.