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Dagmar Manzel and Dominique Horwitz spirit us away to ancient Egypt, where things have a mighty strong flavour of Berlin to them. After bringing us Ball at the Savoy and A woman who knows what she wants!, conductor Adam Benzwi and head director Barrie Kosky conjure another absurd and turbulent piece of fun theatre onto the stage of the Komische Oper Berlin.
The Nile is running dry, a Roman hoard is approaching, and to top it all there is unrest in her own ranks – Cleopatra has her hands full and is also in a foul mood. All this beautiful head of state wants is a »little Egyptian flirting«! Instead of the Syrian Prince Beladonis and his »little flute of love«, she therefore goes ahead and takes the Roman ambassador Silvius as her willing lover. Whether it's international or intimate relations – the most beautiful queen of the world has absolute dominion over all men. The secret behind her power? That's the pearls of Cleopatra ...
Julius Brammer and Alfred Grünwald have laced their libretto for the Viennese-born Oscar Strauss – who also enjoys success in Berlin – with sharp wit and cheeky double entendres. In the guise of light-hearted and frivolous entertainment, with music somewhere between cabaret, jazz, late romanticism and a dose of bliss courtesy of the Viennese waltz, The Pearls of Cleopatra is a witty satire on middle-class conservatism and a farsighted commentary on the then already impending political ills of the 1920s. More than 80 years after its sensational première with Berlin theatre legend Fritzi Massary in the title role, this work returns to the stage of the Komische Oper Berlin with Dagmar Manzel as Cleopatra and Dominique Horwitz as her obliging minister Pampylus. The pyramids of Giza right by the River Spree!