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25 years…

… are a long time. Brave couples celebrate silver wedding anniversaries on the occasion of this impressive number. The connection between the Neuköllner Oper and the Musical/Show program at the UdK has also lasted 25 years. And I think I’m allowed to say this: it’s been a happy time. It’s also much easier when you’re not married, but every year you reconsider doing it again. The beginning of this relationship was honestly a stopgap. With a lot of furor, but all the less money, we made the decision in 1996 to double the performance of the Neukölln Opera. But there was no money. On the other hand, I had just received my second teaching assignment at the University of the Arts, and the students were enthusiastic enough to play our joint production at our place during the so-called summer slump. With one man at the piano, one at the drums and six parasols as a stage set.

It didn’t stop at six parasols. In the meantime, the annual musical premiere at the Neukölln Opera has become a veritable large-scale production. Instead of one man at the piano, there is now an orchestra. Since 2005, the sound engineer course has been on board. And with Niclas Ramdohr, Wolfgang Böhmer and Thomas Zaufke as composers, we are now nominated for the German Musical Award with fairly regularity. There are certainly many reasons for this. My favorite reason: the world premieres at the Neukölln Opera are real ensemble pieces. The actors and actresses work together on a theme for a whole year, and the theme must interest everyone! It’s probably not just us. Musicals made in Neukölln have become the most frequently performed musicals in Germany. Why this is so, we do not know ourselves. Maybe it’s because we never got married. Our babies were only made out of love. And we want to continue doing that. In the meantime, it has even been scientifically proven. Patchwork children are particularly socially stable …

This text was written by Peter Lund, former Artistic Director of the Neuköllner Oper and former Director of the Musical/Show program. The article appeared in printed form in the commemorative publication for the 25th anniversary of the cooperation between the UdK Berlin, the Musical/Show program and the Neuköllner Oper.

Paradise Lost – The Genesis of Musical

Until 23 July: The latest coproduction with the musical/show course of Peter Lund (text, direction) and Thomas Zaufke (music) in the anniversary year.

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