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20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall: Commemorative Concert

November 9th, 2009 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Berlin Wall's historic fall and the end of a divided Germany. The Staatskapelle Berlin, which belonged to East Berlin twenty years ago, will join Daniel Barenboim in part of the German government's grand celebration of the end of an era. They are courageously and festively offering an open-air concert on November 9th, prepared to brave Berlin's autumn winds and rains in order to commemorate this historical event on a stage built especially for the occasion in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The program begins with Wagner's overture to the third act of Lohengrin, continues with Arnold Schönberg's A Survivor from Warsaw with actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, and finishes with a world premiere by German composer Friedrich Goldmann: Es ist, als habe einer die Fenster aufgestossen. The piece takes its title from a quote by German writer Stephan Heym (1913-2001), speaking at a demonstration at Berlin's Alexanderplatz on November 4th, 1989; it means "it is as if someone threw the windows open." Goldmann died on July 24th, 2009.

 

French and Russian presidents Nicolas Sarkozy and Dmitry Medvedev and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will speak at the event, along with key figures from the period including former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.

For more information, please visit the Staatsoper's website.

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