Fire at the Deutsche Oper Berlin Destroys Props, Narrowly Misses Explosives

Classic Arts News   Fire at the Deutsche Oper Berlin Destroys Props, Narrowly Misses Explosives
A fire in the weapons storeroom of the Deutsche Oper Berlin has destroyed some props and may have damaged sets, Bloomberg News reports.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, but investigators suspect and electrical fault.

The fire broke out this morning at 7:30 a.m. and spread out over 300 square meters of the storage space and a workshop; it was under control about a half-hour later. No one was injured.

According to the report, the storeroom contained explosives such as gunpowder in addition to rifles, pistols, swords, daggers, and other armor. Because the explosives were kept in special sealed chambers, the damage was not as severe as it might have been.

Alexander Busche, the opera house's head of press relations, said, "It was sudden and completely unexpected. The first warning was an electronic beep. Only after the building had been evacuated could people see how much smoke there was in the courtyard. The whole inner wall is black now."

Performances of the ballet The Snow Queen, as well as other programs on the opera house's schedule, will proceed as planned, missing only those props and things that were destroyed. "Wagner operas will be difficult to perform without weapons," Busche said. "Sets for Handel and Gretel were stored directly above the fire, and we are not yet sure if they were damaged. But the show must go on."

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