Berlin’s Battling Opera Houses

Berlin’s three opera houses are scrapping with one another to survive. “Does a city really need three opera houses? Probably not, but Berlin has long taken pride in its embarrassment of operatic riches. If one house closes, the city will end up with the same eminently sensible—and thus eminently predictable—arrangement that applies in New York, Paris, and London. There will be the “big” house, like the Met or Covent Garden, presenting de-luxe productions with international stars; and there will be the “alternative” house, like New York City Opera or English National Opera, staking out slightly more adventurous repertory. With three companies, you never quite know what you’re going to get.”