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Paul Abraham, Oscar Straus, and Emmerich Kálmán are just three of the many composers whose operettas achieved great success in the 1920s and 30s at the Metropol Theater (which was housed in the current Komische Oper building). Because of the composers’ Jewish ancestry, these works fell victim to Nazi cultural politics starting in 1933. Overnight celebrated stars became objects of persecution, forced to flee into exile. Even after the war, decades passed before this cultural rupture began to heal and the operettas were recovered. Starting under Barrie Kosky’s directorship of the Komische Oper Berlin, broken pieces were gathered and this tradition which had been so violently cut off was reinstated. Suppressed and forgotten works – such as A Woman Who Knows What She Wants! by Oscar Straus, and Arizona Lady and Marinka by Emmerich Kálmán – were put back on the program, both theatrically and in the form of concerts.
Right from the start, with Paul Abraham’s Ball in Savoy for the 2012/2013 season, Kosky heralded an operetta renaissance which quickly caught on at other opera houses in the German speaking world. The masterpiece, written by the Hungarian Jewish composer Paul Abraham and premiered in Berlin (with the Metropol Theater’s orchestra) in 1932, is a scintillating revue centered around love, sex and pasodoble. Revived at the Komische Oper Berlin 80 years after its world premiere, it has remained a box office hit ever since. Now, and for the last time, the curtains will be raised for this wild story of a newly-wed couple in high society whose fidelity will be put to the test.
Abraham’s score is a captivating mixture of Berlin jazz, Hungarian czárdás, Viennese sentimentality and Jewish klezmer. For the operetta’s final round, three great stars of our time will make their appearances – Dagmar Manzel, Katharine Mehrling and Helmut Baumann. »A fervid portrayal of life on the edge… over three hours of cabaret spectacle with dramatic irony and satirical humor. « [dpa]
This wild, fast-paced comedy combines the wit of a Feydeau with the sarcasm of The Bat, all to the tune of a jazzy foxtrot! Beneath the surface of bourgeois morality, it’s positively simmering– and the dance is the only place to let off steam! Soon, however, the ball at the Savoy will prove to be a dance at the edge of an abyss, ending abruptly with the new political era. With cosmopolitan characters and splendid acts such as “Kissing Turks” and “How lovely to take a stroll in the evening” Abraham created a masterpiece which thanks to Barry Kosky’s new production hopefully won’t ever be forgotten again.