Berlin cancels Nutcracker after stage is flooded

Faulty sprinklers at the Deutsche Oper have prompted the cancellation of the family-favourite Christmas Ballet.

It’s not clear when the house will reopen after flooding on Christmas Eve.

There’s a Magic Flute and Barber of Seville coming up in the next few days.

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  • According to their Facebook page, the Barbiere performance tonight has been cancelled tonight too. Tomorrow’s Zauberflöte might take place as a semi-staged or concert performance (update later today). Pre-sales up to 31 December have been frozen.

    It’s pretty awful news for the house, and wretched timing. I am told the sprinklers have done a lot of very expensive damage to the technical equipment.

  • It would be very unusual for several sprinkler heads to fail simultaneously. They are built with a stopper that melts out in the intense heat of fire. They aren’t set off by one central valve or switch.

    • The sprinklers aren’t operated with built-in stoppers, which wouldn’t be feasible, they are operated by a computer system, which controls the amounts of water released and the areas in which it is released, either through self-activation, when sensors detect heat and fire or when manually commanded to do so (the Staatsoperette Dresden had a mishap earlier this year when they ran through a scheduled test of their sprinkler system and it ended up dumping 16.000 liters of water onto the stage electronics, causing more than €3mio damages).
      Finally, Norman is a bit premature stating that “faulty sprinklers” are to blame. The police is currently still investigating whether a computer malfunction is to blame or whether the sprinklers were set off intentionally/wantonly, in which case charges of ‘wilful damage to property’ would be brought against those responsible.

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