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The actor Max Hopp (alternating with Markus John) as milkman Tevje and Dagmar Manzel as his resolute wife Golde in the piece which – thanks to Walter Felsenstein’s production with over 500 performances – entered the annals of the opera house in the Behrenstraße. Following the triumph of his West Side Story, Barrie Kosky is bringing one of the world’s most successful musicals back to the stage of the Komische Oper Berlin for the first time since 1988.
»Do you have children? – Five!« Out of love of Jewish tradition, in keeping with Jewish tradition: the poor milkman Tevje in the East European shtetl of Anatevka wants to use the help of the marriage broker Jente to find the best-situated husbands for his three eldest daughters, Zeitel, Hodel and Chava. Yet the girls have their own ideas when it comes to happiness ... out of his love for them, Tevje lets them have their way – and accepts all their nonsense with wit and humanity. Well, almost all of it. Only when faced with anti-Jewish pogroms and in the moment of their tragic flight to America are the father and his outcast daughter Chava reunited in each other’s arms.
The book for Anatevka, titled Fiddler on the Roof in the original English version, was written by Joseph Stein using motifs from the famous Yiddish tales by Sholem Aleichem, which were penned between 1894 and 1916 under the title Tewje, the Milkman. With over 3,000 performances on Broadway alone, Jerry Brock created one of the genre’s most successful yet also tragic masterpieces. Anatevka tells the story of the humour and suffering of heart-rending characters caught between catastrophe and the joy of survival, in what is probably the twentieth century’s most life-affirming tragi-comedy about the complications of love, life and marriage.
By Special Permission of Arnold Perl
Book by JOSEPH STEIN
Music by JERRY BOCK
Lyrics by SHELDON HARNICK
German Translation by Rolf Merz and Gerhard Hagen
Produced on the New York Stage by Harold Prince
Original New York Stage Production directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins