On November 7, 1912, conductor Ignatz Waghalter opened the newly-constructed Deutsches Opernhaus in the Berlin suburb of Charlottenburg with a performance of Beethoven’s Fidelio. In November 2012, the centenary of the founding of the opera house (now known as the Deutsche Oper), was celebrated with the premier of Overture 1912, a film by the acclaimed documentarist Enrique Sánchez Lansch. The film surveyed the history of one of Europe’s great opera houses, from its founding on the eve of World War I, through the social, political and cultural catastrophe of the Nazi era, and its post-World War II rebuilding and reestablishment as the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
With the kind permission of Arthaus Music, we are posting the segment of the documentary that recalls the founding and first performance of the Deutsches Opernhaus. Director Lansch interviewed Curt Roesler, the long-time dramaturg and historian of the Deutsche Oper, and David Waghalter Green.