To say goodbye to his position as artistic director, Barrie Kosky really lets it rip again with «Barrie Kosky’s All-Singing, All-Dancing Yiddish Revue». The Komische Oper does not completely lose it.

After ten turbulent years, the artistic director of the Komische Oper in Berlin, Barrie Kosky, ended his tenure at the helm of the opera house with a sparkling Jewish revue.

The “Barrie Kosky’s All-Singing, All-Dancing Yiddish Revue” presented in Yiddish was celebrated in Berlin, Kosky, soloists, ensemble and orchestra received frenetic applause.

The revue goes back to creativity and joie de vivre in the “Borscht Belt”, Jewish holiday settlements north of New York. In the 1950s and 1960s, the region was known as the “Las Vegas of the East Coast”.

Glitter, light and a bit of kitsch

Together with the musical director Adam Benzwi and choreographer Otto Bichler, Kosky has put together an entertaining sequence of 22 numbers. The pieces come from Abraham Einstein, Solomon Shmulowitz or Sholom Secunda. Kosky wraps this up with a lot of glitter and light, allowing feelings to turn into kitsch, just as uninhibitedly as they do. For Kosky, entertainment is a value without a nasty aftertaste.

Yiddish, the old language of Central and Eastern European Jews, hardly plays a role in everyday life in Germany today, also as a result of the Holocaust. Kosky brings them onto the stage with his revue. If you don’t listen quickly, look at the subtitles.

Kosky remains resident director

Kosky’s time as artistic director is paved with awards: Opera House of the Year (2013), Director of the Year (2016), International Opera Award for Director of the Year (2014) and Ensemble of the Year (2015). His works impressed with their originality, such as the “Magic Flute” accompanied by digital animations. The work, realized together with the group “1927”, has now attracted more than 350,000 viewers worldwide. He often delivered lush stage life, such as in “Les Contes d’Hoffmann” or brought rarely performed works such as “The Pearls of Cleopatra” to lush life.

Kosky is not entirely lost in the Komische Oper. As in-house director, he will realize two productions per year for the next five seasons. The previous managing director Susanne Moser and opera director Philip Bröking will take over his post as artistic directors.