Theater des Westens can be found in the very middle of the vibrant centre of Berlin- Charlottenburg. Located just a few metres from the Zoologischer Garten metro station, the theatre is undoubtedly one of the most renowned and elegant stages in Germany and a touristic must-see.
Designed by Bernhard Sehring, Theater des Westens is a savage mixture of styles, from antiquity, through the Middle Ages, up to Renaissance. With its spectacular foyer and dazzling chandeliers, it is definitely worth seeing even if you are not going to watch a play on your own.
Turbulent history of Theater des Westens
Theater des Westens was especially dedicated to operas and operettas and – since its opening in 1896 – hosted the most prominent conductors, soloists, and choreographers of its time. Among others – a funder of Ballets Russes – Sergei Diaghilev and Anna Pavlova – a very famous prima ballerina. For the next years, the stage of Theater des Westens was open for cabarets, musicals, and performances, including the work of such well known personas as Marlene Dietrich and Bertolt Brecht. Having survived a fire in 1912 without much damage, Theater des Westens soon had to struggle with financial troubles, which ended even with its bankruptcy.
The history of Theater des Westens was irreversibly changed by the the Second World War. Due to the wartime, the main building of Berlin’s opera – the Deutsche Oper Berlin was completely destroyed and therefore Theater de Westens started to serve as a new Berlin’s opera house. It was re-opened in 1945 by a new premiere of Beethoven’s Fidelio.
Repertoise – operettas and musicals
In 1961, the opera was, however, moved to another building while operettas and musicals became a specialty of Theater des Westens. The first musical premiere was My Fair Lady – a massive hit, which broke all box office records and was run continuously for 2 years. This was followed by a number of foreign and domestic musical productions performed there in the following decades. Soon, Theater des Westens with its entertaining repertoire, became known as a German version of Brodway.
A second half of the XX century was a time of major improvements in the theatre’s infrastructure. The stage technology was modernised and restoration works on the theatre’s façade and interior were held. All the renovations are estimated to cost almost ten million Euros. Theater des Westens was re-opened again in 2003 with a musical Les Miserables. Since then, a multiple number of worldwide both musical evergreens, such as Mamma Mia or We will rock you, and premieres, namely – Companions or Ghost – The Musical, have been performed in the walls of theatre both in German and English on a daily basis.
Theater des Westens – music, design. Place for everyone
Theater des Westens has become a unique place where locals and tourists can gather together to enjoy the beauty of music and contemplate the elegant surroundings. By connecting the world of music and design, the theatre is somehow able to transcend both of these disciplines, and – above all- becomes a great entertainment for people of all ages! Thereby, Theater des Westens should not be omitted in your travel plans!