Berlin. The State Opera Unter den Linden and BMW have joined forces to form a long-term innovative cooperation to offer the citizens of Berlin and their guests a very special gift. Staatsoper für alle (State Opera for all) stands for a new highlight in the city’s cultural agenda, offering the Berlin public free-of-charge open-air opera enjoyment during the years ahead.
The collaboration between the State Opera House Unter den Linden and BMW will begin this year at 7 p.m. on 19 May 2007. The performance of Massenets Manon, which has been sold out for months and features the dream couple of opera Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón, will be shown live on a public viewing screen at the Bebelplatz.

Commencing 2008, the weekend marking the opening of the opera season will be devoted entirely to admission-free, open-air cultural enjoyment. Berliners can then look forward on one day to an opera performance being transmitted live from the State Opera House Unter den Linden to the Bebelplatz, followed by an open air concert given by the Berlin State Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim - free of charge as well.

The Director General of Music at the State Opera House Unter den Linden regards this event as an opportunity to thank his audience: "The Berlin audience is wonderful. Staatsoper für alle offers the musicians, singers and me the possibility of returning some of the joy and passion for music that our audience has shown during many performances."

The governing mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit, has assumed the patronage of Staatsoper für alle. He explains his commitment as follows: "I am pleased that Berlin will be enriched with a further cultural highlight. It is a very good idea, which will perhaps also lesson some people’s reservations about the opera and widen the circle of opera lovers. I am sure that many opera fans both home and abroad will not want to miss this."

"BMW is very proud as partner of the The State Opera House Unter den Linden to establish the format Staatsoper für alle as a long-term gift to the citizens of the capital," says Maximilian Schöberl, Head of Corporate Affairs at the BMW Group. "As the a large employer of the city - BMW motorcycles have been manufactured at the Spandau plant since 1969 - we are declaring with Staatsoper für alle our support of the Berlin and its cultural diversity."

In the coming years, Staatsoper für alle will enhance Berlin’s cultural life with a classical event of the highest artistic calibre. Oper für alle was founded in Munich in 1997 by the Bavarian State Opera under the directorship of Sir Peter Jonas, with BMW Munich branch as its partner, and has since become synonymous with the Bavarian State Opera and the Munich Opera Festival. Public response is so great that Munich’s mayor, Christian Ude, has even termed it a "civil right".

Anthony Kodack
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