Berlin starts the new season with a full calendar. And with all the safety measures currently in place, the Capital of Culture's new programme is something to behold!
For almost six months, Berlin's theatres and concert halls have been closed. All of them have used this time to develop well thought-out, sustainable hygiene policies. The result is changes in safety regulations, which can be flexibly integrated and which offer a relaxed cultural experience for everyone. It also means we culture lovers all need to be a little flexible ourselves.
- The performances are shortened and will be without breaks and venue eateries will be closed
- To protect the artists, the number of performers will be reduced
- About a quarter of the seats are available for the audience, so the appropriate social distance is guaranteed
- Wearing a mask is compulsory until you take your seat
- Many concerts will be performed multiple times to reach as many people as possible
Out of caution and respect for the audience, many venues will only release their calendars for two to three months. In general, we recommend that you always take another look at the respective websites for events in 2021.
Safe and responsible travel in Berlin: More Info
Musical holidays and gala concerts
Musikfest Berlin 25 August - 23 September 2020
The traditional Musikfest opens the new season with a variety of concerts at the traditional venue - the Philharmonie Berlin. Ludwig van Beethoven and the music of our time are the focus as we mark the famous composer’s 250th birthday. Highlights are the performances of star pianist Igor Levit.
The directors of Berlin's renowned orchestras present classical masterpieces: Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle will open the event with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart on 29 August, and Johann Sebastian Bach, played by the Konzerthaus Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, can be heard on 6 September.
Further classical concerts, conducted by Kirill Petrenko, Robin Ticciati and Vladimir Jurowski, round off this first-class programme.
For all music lovers at home: thanks to the joint initiative by the Musikfest, the Berliner Festspiele and the Digital Concert Hall of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the concerts, talks and essays are also available in the digital hall.
Musikfest Berlin online
200 years of the Konzerthaus Berlin
At the Konzerthaus Berlin, the entire season will be dominated by the 200th anniversary of the venue's birth. On 26 May 1821, the classicist building on the Gendarmenmarkt was ceremonially opened with the first performance of Weber's "Freischütz".
The new programme is a retrospective: works by Carl Maria von Weber, Robert Schumann and Igor Stravinsky. On 26 May 2021, the Konzerthaus invites you to a glittering gala with a festive ceremony; the musical programme will be conducted by Christoph Eschenbach.
Konzerthaus Berlin program
Konzerthaus Berlin Anniversary Gala
The Staatsoper Unter den Linden is also celebrating:
450 years of the Staatskapelle
One anniversary competes with the next: to mark the start of the Staatskapelle's 450th birthday, Daniel Barenboim will conduct the Beethoven Cycle until 4 September 2020.
Ludwig van Beethoven is also the protagonist of the popular annual open-air concert STAATSOPER FÜR ALLE (Staatsoper for everyone) on 6 September 2020 with Anne-Sophie Mutter on violin. This year, the Staatsoper pays special tribute to the people who provided help in many different ways during the Covid-19 crisis.
The actual anniversary celebration will take place on 11 September 2020. The programme includes works by Felix Mendelssohn, Richard Strauss, Pierre Boulez - and of course Ludwig van Beethoven.
The Golden Twenties: Kurt Weill days at the Komische Oper, the Philharmonie Berlin and the Berliner Ensemble
How did that time sound? What was so flashy and wild in the 1920s?
From 10 to 21 February, the Komische Oper will devote itself to the multi-faceted work of German-American composer Kurt Weill with operas, concerts and a symposium.
From February 10 to 28, the Philharmonie Berlin will bring the music of Weill and other artists of the Weimar Republic to life and invites you to experience it against its historical and social background: in concerts, salons and late nights.
Prior to this, the Threepenny Opera, the unforgettable work by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill, will be performed from February 7 to 9 at the place where it was created, the Berliner Ensemble. Premiere is on 29 January.
Highlights from individual Berlin houses:
Music, theatre, comedy, variety
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Kirill Petrenko is getting his second season with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra underway with the classical repertoire of German Romanticism: the programme includes Brahms, Strauss, Mendelssohn and Mozart.
Another focus of this season is world-famous Russian compositions. Rachmaninov's Francesca da Rimini, Tchaikovsky's Mazeppa, Prokofiev, Stravinsky and Shostakovich will all be performed.
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra program
Komische Oper Berlin
Wit and irony, lightness and seriousness: the Komische Oper offers a music-theatre experience that appeals to all the senses. In the coming season Pierrot Lunaire, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, The (Magical) Magic Flute and Iphigenia in Tauris will be performed. All performances will be subtitled in English, French and Turkish.
And during the Komische Oper Festival in June 2021, the premieres of the season will be performed once again.
Komische Oper Berlin program
Deutsche Oper Berlin
Deutsche Oper will remain flexible and agile with a programme for the next six weeks. And this is exceptional and exciting: in addition to the performances of selected highlights from the great Italian masterpieces in the "Open Opera", the world premiere "Baby Doll. An escape with Beethoven's 7th Symphony" tells the stories of women who have to flee to Europe.
Deutsche Oper Berlin program
Deutsches Theater Berlin
“They say: theatre depends on closeness and physical contact. But theatre does not depend whatsoever on closeness and physical contact. In fact, it has absolutely nothing to do with them.” Quotation with a current reference by René Pollesch, whose work Melissa Gets Everything marks the new season.
Exciting productions of Friedrich Dürrenmatt's Play Strindberg and Juli Zeh's classroom play Corpus Delicti follow. And from 2 to 4 October, ten new short plays will be presented as part of the Autorentheatertage 2020, which renowned authors* such as Elfriede Jelinek have recently written for the Deutsches Theater. The same weekend will also see the performances of the three winning plays selected by Nina Hoss, Dea Loher and David Tushingham.
Deutsches Theater Berlin program
Maxim Gorki Theater
The experiences of the last months made the Maxim Gorki Theater inventive. A new, innovative space for art, discourse and performance has been created: the Gorki Kiosk. In the shop at Dorotheenstraße 3, Rimini Protokoll offers two acoustic journeys through Berlin: Remote Mitte and 50 kilometres of files - A walk-in Stasi radio play.
On August 28, the Maxim Gorki Theatre will open the season with the first part of its new urban trilogy "Berlin Oranienplatz". The play tells the story of the last day in Berlin for young man, who has been arrested, but wants to flee to Istanbul.
Maxim Gorki Theater program
Polis/Reset is the leading theme that will determine the eight productions planned for the Volksbühne’s main stage.
The season opens with the premiere of Iphigenie. Traurig und geil im Taurerland (Iphigenia. Sadness and desire in Tauris) on 11 September 2020, followed by Die Orestie (The Orestia) on 1 October. The conflicts of antiquity, reflected in the classical tragedies and myths, are catapulted and recharged into the heart of the present day.
Volksbühne Berlin program
After a renovation and air conditioning of the halls, the festival will start again on 15 October 2020: with a varied mix of repertoires and new productions.
Milo Raus' play Everywoman will be the first of these, followed by a new production of Michael Kohlhaas directed by Simon McBurney and Vernon Subutex 1 directed by Thomas Ostermeier.
From the extensive repertoire, Peer Gynt, Yes means yes and among other works will be performed until the end of the year.
Irgendwas is imma under the direction of the new artistic director Guntbert Warns promises a "lively evening" - the Renaissance Theater's welcome to the new season.
The programme continues with premieres such as Miss Julie by August Strindberg and world premieres such as Die Vodkagespräche (The Vodka conversations) a staged reading by Arne Nielsen. The extensive programme is accompanied by literary excursions, salons, readings and guided tours.
Renaissance Theater program
Berlin's traditional children's and youth theatre will also be back on stage: from September onwards, performances will take place both at Hansaplatz and at Grips Podewil.
The season starts with two premieres: alcoholism in the family from the perspective of a child - this is the troubling theme that the premiere of Das Leben ist ein Wunschkonzert (Life is a wish list) brings to the stage.
Bella, Boss and Bull talks about self-determination when the world becomes unpredictable: Fear, desire, blackmail in the school yard. On the other hand, the power of newly formed friendships is impressively demonstrated.
Grips Theater program
The next premiere on 5 September in the Schlosspark Theater is a...comedy: how could it be otherwise? On the content of the premiere of God's CV by Jean-Louis Fournier: "Heaven was finished, the earth was finished, the animals were finished and man was finished...God had the feeling that he too was finished. He fell into a deep melancholy." Starring Dieter Hallervorden, who celebrates his 85th birthday on the opening night. Political cabaret, humorous evenings and musical comedies follow.
Schlosspark Theater program
Cabaret artist Frank Lüdecke and his wife Caroline will breathe new life to the traditional political cabaret stage. To the new bosses, there are no strangers among their beloved audience, only friends: for the reopening in August, the Emergency aid programme 27-8 was set up for all guests - loosely based on the motto "The theatre pays its audience". And just as innovative and lively is the season opener Überall ist besser als nichts! reloaded (Everywhere is better than nothing! reloaded) and the new programme by Frank Lüdecke Das Falsche muss nicht immer richtig sein (The wrong doesn’t always have to be right): analytical, lateral, satirical and...first-class cabaret.
Die Stachelschweine program
After extensive renovation work on the listed building, Europe's leading revue theatre will open in January 2021 with a ravishing show:
The VIVID Grand Show, a rapid as well as a barnstorming declaration of love to life, is the return of the international dance ensemble under the direction of Alexandra Georgieva to the world's largest theatre stage - naturally with the traditional line-up of girls!
Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin program
Tipi am Kanzleramt
An action-packed few months sums up the programme on the stage of the largest stationary tent in Europe. Every evening, renowned artists such as Tim Fischer, Desirée Nick, Lisa Eckhart and Katherine Mehrling will offer new and exquisite samples of the art of entertainment. Whether Nick's chanson revue Mutter Corsage- Die letzte lebende Diseuse in September or the Boylesque Drag Festival Berlin 2020 in November there is always extraordinary entertainment.
Tipi Am Kanzleramt program
Variety shows, music and dance are a great Berlin tradition! As early as 1900, the Wintergarten, then in Friedrichstraße, was one of the 80 or so leading variety theatres in the city.
For the 2020/21 stage season, things will look no different: from 23 September, Golden Years, a new 20s Variety Revue, comes to the stage. Elegant Varieté Noir, dazzling and opulent. Exciting: the then new images of women in the twenties will be transported into the present day by strong female artists and brought into focus.
Wintergarten Varieté program