(Credits: Klaus Frahm / dpa / Gunnar Geller)
Berlin Senator for Culture and Europe Dr. Klaus Lederer has announced that Berlin’s opera houses will stay shut at least until Easter 2021.
In view of the serious infection situation in Berlin, Dr. Lederer had a meeting with representatives of the state’s theaters, as well as the independent theaters on January 13, 2021.
“We actually pretty much agreed that no stage would be opened here in Berlin until Easter 2021. You don’t need a lot of imagination, ” said Lederer after the meeting.
The Senator referred to the unknown variables in the infection process, such as the impact of the Christmas and New Year gatherings on the infection numbers. Per the statement, a far more dramatic situation may arise from the rapid spreading of new COVID-19 variants found in the United Kingdom and South Africa. In such a case, all previous considerations regarding the reopening of cultural venues would have to be re-evaluated.
“When things start working again, culture has to be a part of the process. But at the moment nobody can give any serious information about it, ” concluded Dr. Lederer.
Regarding the possible discontinuation of rehearsals, several intendants of Berlin’s opera houses expressed their disagreement regarding the idea.
“Everyone involved is very responsible and adheres to all safety measures. Due to the hygiene concept and the COVID-19 tests that we carry out every three days for the actors and actresses, our rehearsal room is currently probably safer than a supermarket, hospital or a subway, ” said Intendant of the Komische Oper Berlin Barrie Kosky.
“Stopping the rehearsals would be catastrophic and highly problematic, ” added Kosky.