Children and young people

© Monika Rittershaus
© Monika Rittershaus
The Komische Oper Berlin offers young opera and concert-goers the ideal conditions for a successful introduction to the fascinatingly complex art form that is opera.

We invite children and their families as well as kindergarten and school groups to come and enjoy some exciting hours in the Great Hall of the Komische Oper Berlin, with the première of the children’s opera The Town Musicians of Bremen by Attila Kadri Şendil and with Snow White and the 77 Dwarves by Elena Kats-Chernin. Children and young people are also more than welcome at all other opera performances, children’s concerts and symphony concerts! Over 40,000 children and young people use this formative cultural offering each year. 

For additional information regarding educational services and projects, please see the brochure »Komische Oper School«, or get in touch directly with:

Anne-Kathrin Ostrop
Director of Musical Theatre Education
T +49 (0)30 20260 375 / F 377

Adventure Opera!

Children and young people are invited to immerse themselves in the exciting world of musical theatre at the Komische Oper Berlin. And they do this with enthusiasm -  each season, 30,000 children and young people avail themselves of the comprehensive range provided by »Komische Oper ’Young«, which is specifically aimed at the needs of young people. The music theatre education department at the Komische Oper Berlin today works together with over 400 schools. The extremely positive feedback shows how important it is to encourage the imagination and creativity of young people and to reinforce their interest in art, culture, and opera. This why we hold a children's opera première on the Große Bühne (great stage) each season, including inaugural performances. The care and the passion with which we produce children's operas is transmitted to the young audience and leads to an intuitive exploration of opera on the part of the children and young people. 

Our own enthusiasm alone is not enough to fascinate other people. This is why we offer a comprehensive workshop programme which uses the method of dramatic interpretation of music and theatre to introduce young visitors of all ages to the art form that is opera. The concerts for children and the moderated concert rehearsals are an especially impressive experience for all visitors and helpers alike. This is because these concerts are not just about listening passively, but also about joining in, listening actively, clapping, and making music. With the aid of age-appropriate presentation, young people learn about the musical and cultural-historical context of a piece, and they can ask the conductor and the musicians about their work. Children also receive the opportunity to become a part of the children's choir, which is made up of almost 80 boys and girls aged between six and 14; it is a firm feature of the opera house's tradition.  Not only can the children's choir be seen and heard on our stage during numerous performances in our repertoire - it is also and above all an important part of our children's opera productions. One event for our grown-up and younger visitors alike is the annual festival to mark the new season, which is specially designed for children and their families; it's hugely popular.

Peter and the Wolf

A music-based and integrative language-learning project for refugee and mainstream classes Launched during the 2016/17 season, the focus of this project is on working together with children and their parents from refugee and mainstream classes in Berlin’s primary schools. Over the course of a school year, the children engage with the concert work Peter and the Wolf by Sergei Prokofiev. The aim is for the refugee children to learn German through play, be introduced to Western music, and also to engage with the themes of the piece. The project culminates in the bilingual (German and Arabic) performance of Peter and the Wolf at the Komische Oper Berlin. All parents and children from the refugee and mainstream classes to which the refugee children have transferred are invited to this concert experience. 

Children’s concert 6 Fri 25 / Sun 27 May 2018 11 am

Workshops and Projects

In around 350 introductory workshops, children, young people, students, families and adults use the method of scene interpretation to prepare themselves in an age-appropriate manner for their visit to the opera. Here, participants slip into the roles from the piece they are to see, feel their way into the music of the work, and independently explore key scenes. In the process, what were hitherto unknown opera characters become people whose motives participants can empathise with, and complex events are transformed into comprehensive sequences of actions. This allows participants to leave behind the role of passive observer and to actively experience the piece for themselves. Workshops are held for all of the schedule’s operas.

Berlin Sing Along

A sing-along project for primary-school children

In collaboration with Berliner Sparkasse bank, the project Berlin Sing Along will take place for the second time during the 2017/18 season and involve three Berlin primary schools. Dilek Kolat, Senator for Health, Care and Equality, has become the patron of the programme. Over the period of half a school year, the children will work together with their music teachers and the Komische Oper Berlin’s experts in musical theatre education to prepare a programme of songs. Together with employees of Berliner Sparkasse and the Berlin state senate, the 900 school students will then give a concert in the Great Hall of the Komische Oper Berlin. They will be supported by the venue’s musicians and ensemble members. The aim of the project is to instil a love of communal singing in the children, and to provide cultural access to school children from many different backgrounds.

Children's Choir

With nearly 100 vocalists, the Komische Oper Berlin children’s choir is a fixed part of the venue’s operatic offerings. Thanks to the great age range of the children and young people, who are aged between 6 and 18, the many different sounds of the children’s choir can be conjured up, and the children can always be deployed in the drama and choreography of a piece in a way that is appropriate to their age and the demands of the respective work. The various cultural backgrounds of the children also create a colourful social mix which enriches and empowers everyone involved. Under the directorship of Dagmar Fiebach, the children and young people are prepared for the varied and highly sophisticated challenges of regular performing in rehearsals taking place several times a week. The musical and acting work is complemented with regular professional voice coaching by experienced singers from Berlin’s opera houses. During the 2017/18 season, the young singers can look forward to two wonderful resumptions: Snow White and the 77 Dwarves and L’Enfant et les Sortilèges, as well as the traditional children’s festival and several concerts on the stage of the Komische Oper Berlin and other concert venues in Berlin.

Dagmar Fiebach
Director of the Children's Choir
T +49 (0)30 20260 290

Orchstera Musicians in Schools - The Concert Guides

Attending a symphony concert becomes an especially formative experience for secondary-school and sixth-form pupils if the event is preceded by a visit to the school by one of our orchestra musicians, who uses his or her instrument to provide an introduction to the programme. As part of the concert visit, these »concert guides« are happy to answer questions and talk to pupils. This is a free offer for school classes which have booked concert tickets.
From twelve years of age onwards

For Youth Care-Workers and Teachers

As an accompaniment to many of our operas, you can order age-specific educational material to prepare your pupils prior to the opera visit. In addition, Anne-Kathrin Ostrop, an expert in music theatre education, also offers teacher training for selected works, using the method of dramatic interpretation of music and theatre.

Working with Networks

The Komische Oper Berlin is the only Berlin opera house to be a member of the European Network for Opera in Education (RESEO), and is represented in a leading position at the Institut für Szenische Interpretation von Musik und Theater (Institute for Dramatic Interpretation of Music and Theatre) ISIM by its expert in music theatre education. 

The Komische Oper Berlin is heavily involved in the TUSCH-Berlin project (TUSCH = Theater Und Schule, »theatre and schools«). In addition to this project, an intensive partnership has developed between the orchestra of the Komische Oper Berlin and the school orchestras and big bands of the Arndt-Gymnasium Dahlem.

What film and opera have to sing to one another

At first glance, film and opera seem to have little in common: film is relatively young, opera fairly old; film is one of the reproductive media, according to Walter Benjamin, whereas opera is a live-performance artform; film exceeds all the other arts in terms of realism, while opera is the most artificial of them all. Yet on the other hand, it is also said that if Mozart, Wagner or Puccini were alive today, they would probably be film-makers. And in turn, many film-makers are guided by the traditional genre of opera – people such as Lars von Trier, Walt Disney, Federico Fellini and Francis Ford Coppola. Where does this mutual interest on the parts of such contrasting media stem from? Wherein do the precise aesthetic differences and overlaps lie? How can film-makers and opera-makers utilise the means of the respective other genre in order to push the boundaries of their own respective genre? Together with students of film direction at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF, the Komische Oper Berlin will pursue these questions in theoretical discussions as well as through practical work in the winter semester 2017/18.
The results of this collaboration will be published on our website.

Dr Rainer Simon 
Assistant to the Artistic Director
T +49 (0)30 20260 214