No opera on Rhine as theatre is flooded out

The theatre in Duisburg, home to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Ballett am Rhein, the Schauspiel and the Duisburg Philharmonic, has suffered disastrous flooding overnight as a result of a sprinkler malfunction. Some 80,000 litres of water gushed out.

The fire services have pumped the place dry but it’s not known when it will be fit to reopen.

The rest of the Duisburger Akzente festival has been cancelled.

 

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  • “The theatre in Duisburg, home to the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Ballett am Rhein, the Schauspiel and the Duisburg Philharmonic, has suffered disastrous flooding overnight as a result of a sprinkler malfunction.”

    “Deutsche Oper am Rhein” but not “Duisburger Philharmoniker”? Furthermore, I think you meant “Theater”, not “Schauspiel”. Theater refers to buildings (or the entity that resides in buildings or the genre), Schauspiel to plays.

    I guess we are bad at sprinklers (Berlin Brandenburg Airport).

    • I actually think the choice of language for these different institutions was the best: it would sound unnatural (or possibly condescending, especially with a target readership of classical music aficionados) to write ‘the German Opera on the Rhine’, for example; and few people would replace ‘Dresdner Staatskapelle’ with ‘Dresden State Band’, or ‘Concertgebouw’ with ‘Concert Building’! Conversely, orchestras called ‘die … Philharmoniker’ are better referred to in English as ‘the … Philharmonic (Orchestra)’, as they all were until a few years ago, when the Berlin, for example, started marketing themselves worldwide as the ‘Berliner Philharmoniker’.

      ‘Philharmoniker’ is problematic in English constructions, being a plural noun in an orchestra’s name and not readily perceived by English-speakers as such, because in English most orchestras are named as singular entities (used with either a singular or a plural verb), whereas ‘Philharmoniker’ denotes a number of individuals. (There are a very few British orchestras with plural names, such the English Baroque Soloists.)

      Equally, ‘Philharmoniker’ is nearly always qualified by an invariable adjective denoting the town where the orchestra is based—Duisburger, Berliner, Wiener, Münchner, etc., some of which will sound unnatural or even be incomprehensible when used in English.

      This may be my view only because I am a native English speaker with ability in German; and the following quotation from Deutsche Grammophon’s history of the Berlin Phil may sound perfectly natural to someone with no knowledge of German: “The following April the Berliner Philharmoniker chooses as its artistic director the man who […]”, so I would be interested in any other comments.

      • Very interesting, thank you! I still favor using the native names and I use it when referring to orchestras etc.: London Symphony Orchestra, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Mariinsky teatr, Orchestre de Paris… Then again, I would say “Mailänder Scala”. So yes, maybe it’s different if you don’t speak the language. Would explain my examples, too. 🙂 But I would never use a German translation of “Concertgebouw” (and I don’t speak Dutch.

        “Schauspiel” is still plain wrong, though. It’s like calling the “Mariinsky teatr” the “Mariinsky Play”.

          • “Except it isn’t. “Schauspiel” does mean the genre in Duisburg. ”

            Exactly my point. A genre isn’t residing anywhere. It is staged somewhere. By whom? By the… Schauspiel Duisburg? Is that their name? The website states:

            Theater Duisburg
            Duisburger Philharmoniker
            Deutsche Oper am Rhein

            So I guess all that’s in that flooded building. So it’s the Theater Duisburg that stages plays (=Schauspiele), is it not?

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