Site Meter

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Berlin's Bahns & Buses: Deutsche Oper

During my time in Berlin this winter, while my kids and wife were in school and I was supposed to be doing some real work, I got a bit obsessed with expressing my infatuation with the city's public transportation system. I wrote a sort of love letter and video to the U-Bahns, S-Bahns and buses. During the time, I also found myself drawn to the train stations, themselves. So, for my last few days here, I've been riding the rails and taking photos of various Bahnhofs.

Today's feature is the Deutsche Opera (German Opera) stop on the U-2, one of the older lines that cuts right through the center of town going east/west. The stop is in Charlottenburg, in West Berlin, and opens up to the opera itself -- one of three major opera houses currently running in Berlin. I had never been to a real opera before moving to Germany in the summer of 2010. Then, that winter, my family and I made up for it, attending a half-dozen performances in the Deutsche Oper, the Schiller Theatre (filling in for the old, grand Staatsoper, which is being renovated) and the Komische Oper.

My favorite venue is actually the Schiller (just down the street from the Deutsche Oper). It's rather humdrum, and lacks the slick modernity of the Deutsche Oper, or the opulence of the Komisch. But I just like the way the seats are set up at such a steep angle that you're always looking down at the stage. I also like the fact that, in our experience, the most expensive seats in the house didn't all sell, which means they were available to those cheapskates (us) who show up for discount tickets 30 minutes before the show. At the Schiller, we often had some of the best seats in the house for a pittance.

The opera is just another one of those things that the government subsidizes here because it believes that art and culture are necessities. Not only can the average citizen get a cheap ticket at a world-class performance, but the unemployed can pick up an opera ticket for about $4.50. Yes, you read that right. Socialism? If so, socialism is a beautiful thing.

But back to the Bahnhof. This is one of the classic stations in Berlin, with nice tile mosaics, cool font for the signs, and separate mosaics for various composers in the hallway upstairs. For my video/essay about the transport system, go here. For more Berlin Bahn photos: here and there.

No comments: