Berlin Government to Help Fund State Opera Renovation

Classic Arts News   Berlin Government to Help Fund State Opera Renovation
 
The Berlin government will help fund the renovation of the city's Staatsoper Unter den Linden, the home of the Berlin State Opera, Bloomberg News reports.

The renovation will mostly involve updating outdated stage and theater technology, at an estimated cost of about $134 million; work will start in 2008 or 2009.

The Berlin senate also reached an agreement with the city's three opera houses to reduce their combined annual subsidies to 98.9 million euros a year in 2009 from 112.1 million euros in 2006, according to Bloomberg.

The Staatsoper has had a turbulent history. The original opera house was completed in 1743, though the first performance was held the year before while the house was still under construction. In 1843 the building was razed by a fire following a performance of a military ballet. The reconstructed opera building was ready the following year.

After the collapse of the German empire in 1918, the opera was renamed the Staatsoper unter den Linden. During World War II the house was completely destroyed in bombing raids; reconstruction continued into the 1950s.


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