Our former board member Antje Vollmer has died. The Protestant theologian, politician and publicist is rightly honored as a pacifist of contention, a credible campaigner in peace and environmental policy, and an outstanding parliamentarian (she was vice president of the German Bundestag from 1994 to 2005).

Yes, she did polarize, but without causing harm, and built bridges across political divides. She was a fighter.

She was also a “cultural person,” which, surprisingly, is rarely mentioned in the many obituaries. This term, created by the German Cultural Council as a tribute to people who have rendered special services to art and culture, is also due to Antje Vollmer. Because of her great commitment, the cultural politician Antje Vollmer was a valued and preferred contact person for artists of all disciplines. She paid special attention to the precarious social situation of the many cultural workers.

The fact that Antje Vollmer had been following the development of our music theater for a very long time and was impressed by the “Neukölln dramaturgy” is known to only a few. After the end of her parliamentary work, she was eager to join the board of the Neukölln Opera. That she was elected unanimously was not surprising. She worked on the board as she had done in other areas: committed and full of ideas, also quite argumentative and realistic in the forward-looking sense of wanting more than circumstances allowed. She did our theatre good!

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As of today, all Berlin residents between the ages of 18 and 23 will have access to a “culture credit” worth 50 euros. These young adults will be invited to redeem the credit in the form of tickets to roughly 200 cultural venues in Berlin. This includes everything from visits to museums, theatres, comedy-clubs to literary readings, chill movies nights and exciting club events. The JUGENDKULTURKARTE encourages young adults to (re)discover Berlin’s multifaceted cultural scene and experience it live and on site — regardless of any individual budget constraints. We are very happy to be a partner of the JUGENDKULTURKARTE!

Starting on 1 February 2023, young adults between the ages of 18 and 23 who are officially registered in Berlin during the validity period of the JUGENDKULTURKARTE from 1 February to 30 April 2023 are invited to register online on a website created especially for the card:

After registering online, they will have to pick up their JUGENDKULTURKARTE in person by 28 February 2023 at one of roughly 40 public libraries in Berlin. Cardholders will then have until 30 April 2023 to redeem their 50-euro culture credit at our box office (and advanced-ticket offices of the various participating cultural venues) in Berlin. It is not possible to purchase tickets online.

The JUGENDKULTURKARTE is an initiative by Berlin’s Senate Department for Culture and Europe and implemented by Kulturprojekte Berlin.


New Year, New Productions

What’s not in our bones? After waves of inflation and pandemics, after the multiple crises, we are actually quite happy to come home in the evening, fall into our armchairs at home and switch off. And not to take a seat on hard theater chairs and then to occupy ourselves with stories from and about others.

But what would our everyday life be if that didn’t exist anymore: that feeling of sitting together in a hall where the lights go out and you become part of another world, one that surrounds us with music and makes us laugh, stare or cry? What if we didn’t have that anymore: those conversations afterwards and the anticipation of upcoming and unknown pieces that bring new things to life in our little ballroom where you are so close to each other?

We theater-makers are looking forward to the start of the new year and invite you to the euphoria of founding your own state and the craziness of a family on an old anti-aircraft platform off the coast of England in RADIOLAND, to a double love story of composers in BÉSAME MUCHO, to a re-encounter with Spain’s legendary queer icon OCAÑA and the world saviors THE PRESENT, among others. a. in the Kiezkapelle/Princess Gardens, to animals, robots and world explorations at two new WUNDERKAMMERN

Your Neuköllner Opera is looking forward to seeing you at all these new departures!

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In Memory Of Christoph Stölzl

Christoph Stölzl was not only a versatile politician, art scholar, publicist, idea generator … but also a supporter and member of the Neuköllner Oper. From 2007-2016, Stölzl was a member of the board of the Neuköllner Oper’s supporting association, and from 2017 he was a member of the board of trustees.

“What wonderful evenings we experienced with him,” remembers Bernhard Glocksin, Artistic Director of the house, “this agility and virtuosity of thought, this wit and charm in his speech, and what elegance, vitality and enthusiasm he radiated when he stood on stage with us as a moderator and let’s just say: emcee! One could also say: He embodied the most beautiful, versatile and creative sides of our theater”.

This is how we mourn Christoph Stölzl, who passed away on January 10, 2023 at the age of 78.

Board and Directorate of the Neuköllner Oper

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heavenly sounds for your home

PARADISE LOST – THE GENESIS OF MUSICAL by Zaufke & Lund is now also available on CD! (And still until January 7 in our hall). The CD is available for 10 € at our box office. You can find a first glimpse of the record here:

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Tote Bags for Talents

With printed cotton bags, we support a wonderful initiative of the Bürgerstiftung Neukölln: The project Neuköllner Talente initiates and accompanies leisure time sponsorships for (often at-risk-of-poverty) Neukölln children of primary school age who want to discover and show what they are made of. The project focuses on a relationship of trust and an eye-to-eye encounter between the sponsor, the child and the family. A sponsorship gives time, attention and mutual interest. Together with their volunteer talent sponsors, the children visit libraries and museums, explore Berlin, cook and do sports. In this way, they discover a variety of ways to spend their free time and learn a lot in an informal way.

The bags (climate-friendly produced and GOTS certified) can be purchased online at the Bürgerstiftung (plus 1,50€ shipping costs) or at our box office for 7 Euro. The net proceeds will benefit the project.

Online order: email to Please indicate number of bags and address. Account number DE25100900007370861000 (Bürgerstiftung Neukölln), reason for payment: Bags for Talents

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To the table!

What do you think about climate change, our Earth and our role in it? In order to be able to experience yourself even differently, we invite you to three “explorations” in the sense of Citizen Science in the framework program of NEUE LIEDER VON DER ERDE in October and November 2022:

Krisenklänge – Küchengespräche
October 29, 2022, following the performance (7 – 8:30 p.m., vegetables to be delivered by 6:30 p.m.).

Conversations over dinner and music with Dr. Manuel Rivera and artists* from New Songs from the Earth.

TRAIN 4 Science

October 15, 16, 19, 27 and November 5, 6, 9, 12, 2022, 7:15 – 7:45 p.m. each day

Tablet game on living and acting in times of climate change

Natur der Dinge

Oct. 15, 20, 26 & Nov. 11, 2022, 7:15 – 7:45 p.m. each day

A Participatory Collection of the Anthropocene. Four workshops on new stories for a new Earth age.

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Maestro Without (Genre)Limits

We bid farewell to our musical director Hans-Peter Kirchberg in his well-deserved retirement – after more than 1,500 performances (100 of which were premieres) in his 30 years of conducting at our house!

Since 1992, HP Kirchberg was responsible for the development and musical direction of a wide variety of works – numerous musicals by Peter Lund and composers (including the genre-defining WUNDER VON NEUKÖLLN or the award-winning STELLA. DAS BLONDE GESPENST VOM KURFÜRSTENDAMM) as well as chamber operas (e.g. ANGELA – EINE NATIONALOPER im U-Bahnhof Reichstag) or the realization of the award-winning works of the BERLINER OPERNPREIS.

HP Kirchberg has been honored for his work with, among others, the “Silberne(n) Blatt” of the Dramatiker-Union, which has also been awarded to such greats as Volker Ludwig, August Everding, Helmut Baumann and George Tabori.

This is what his companions say:

Winfried Radeke, composer and inventor of the Neukölln Oper:
“He became my right hand, so to speak. Without him, many, many performances at the Neukölln Opera would not have been possible.”

Bernhard Glocksin, Artistic Director of Neuköllner Oper:
“The Neuköllner Oper stands for genre-spanning musical theater and was fortunate to have found a true generalist in HP Kirchberg, who was a guarantor for the high musical quality of the performances. We thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his commitment and work, which, so to speak, spans generations of singers* and musicians*.”

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The concert film for our joint production was made last late summer, when we adapted our successful production GIOVANNI. EINE PASSION together with the Stegreif Orchester adapted for a real (Neukölln) cemetery: A total of 18 cameras were in action in the Prinzessinnengärten at the New St. Jacobi Cemetery. Among them were body cams attached to the performers, bringing you right into the middle of the action, on the trail of the myth of Don Giovanni. The 70-minute film by Stephan Boehme was made in cooperation with EuroArts and rbb – and can now be found in the ARD Media Library.

Neuköllner Oper, Musical Direction: Juri de Marco | Direction: Ulrike Schwab | Arrangements: Malte Schiller, Alistair Duncan, Bertram Burkert, Anna-Sophie Brüning, Juri de Marco & ensemble members of the STEGREIF.orchester | Musical Rehearsal: Anna-Sophie Brüning | Set Design: Pia Dederichs and Marina Stefan | Project Idea/Dramaturgy: Bernhard Glocksin. A production of rbb with EuroArts and Neuköllner Oper.

© Pia Dederichs

For those who want to experience the Stegreif Orchester live, we also recommend our third joint production: NEW SONGS FROM THE EARTH will premiere on Saturday, October 15, 2022!

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Double Success At THe Deutsche Musical Theater preis 2022

Congratulations to our award winners: Hakan Savaş Mican and Markus Syperek were honored yesterday at the German Musical Theater Award of the German Musical Academy in Hamburg.

Markus Syperek

“Best Arrangement” for PARADISE LOST – THE GENESIS OF MUSICAL (from 28 November back on our stage!)

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Cineastic from Zaufke & Lund

It took three years, but now the time has finally come: KOPFKINO- DER FILM is experiencing its public premiere after an extremely successful festival tour. And it’s happening in the cinema just around the corner- on your sofa and your screen!

We’ve been trying to get an official theatrical release for three years, but thanks to Corona, it’s totally utopian right now. Bad luck for our multi-award winning film, good luck for our audience.

Starting today, KOPFKINO is available for six weeks, live and in color. So get the champagne bottle out of the fridge, pop some popcorn in the microwave, go to Vimeo and enter your password:

Password: KOPFKINO2020

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That our societies – interconnected and therefore in the plural – are in the process of transforming themselves is something we feel more and more intensely. That the directions of these transformations are often not yet “right”, that they are not sustainable, we mostly feel and know that too. Nevertheless, we repress the fear that the climate and species crises cause us instead of turning it into courage to act. Our anger flares up without us gaining political energy from it. And the many who are already working on the future still feel isolated. Art and entertainment venues can literally show that you can look good with less material and energy consumption, for example by consistently recycling stage sets – as the Neukölln Opera has been doing for years. Die entsprechende „Ökologisierung“ der Kulturbetriebe steht erst am Anfang; wir dürfen auf den weiteren Weg gespannt sein. It is at least as important that artists open themselves and us to socio-ecological topics, involve us in their contradictions and entertain us by confronting our knowledge and feelings instead of repressing them. The Neukölln Opera is treading this path of openness (among others) with its NEW SONGS FROM THE EARTH – and also makes me, as a sustainability scientist, quite curious.*

Dr. Manuel Rivera
Research Group Leader Art and Science for Sustainable Development at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies e.V. (IASS).

As a much sought-after expert at the interface of sustainability research and artistic practice, Dr. Manuel Rivera has accompanied the music theater project NEW SONGS FROM THE EARTH from the very beginning. On October 29, following the performance at the musical-culinary evening Crisis Sounds – Kitchen Talks, he will talk with colleagues from the IASS and the audience about the perspectives that arise from NEW SONGS FROM THE EARTH. All information about the evening and registration can be found here.


Music theater by Neuköllner Oper, Stegreif – The Improvising Symphony Orchestra and Syrian and German authors.
World premiere on 15 October 2022. Through 12 November 2022.

*This text appeared in print in the NKO Playbill October-December.

A Project by Neuköllner Oper and

Kindly supported by

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