Komische Oper Berlin to Stage Henze’s Oratorio ‘The Raft of the Medusa’ in Airport Hangar

By Logan Martell

Komische Oper Berlin has announced an upcoming production of Hans Werner Henze’s oratorio, “The Raft of the Medusa,”  to be held at a hangar in the former Templehof Airport.

The unconventional choice in staging comes as the company’s current home undergoes renovations over the next six years, with the company making Schiller Theater a temporary venue, along with other locations in the city. The work is based on a painting by Theodore Gericault on an authentic shipwreck from 1816, and the 1968 Hamburg premiere had to be canceled due to riots.

Komische Oper Berlin Music director Titus Engel leads a cast including soprano Gloria Rehm and baritone Gunter Papendell,  as well as an 83-member choir, 40 extras, 20 choir boys, and 82 musicians.

The production will run for five performances from September 16 to 30, 2023.