A Yiddish sing-song from Berlin’s Komische Oper

A Yiddish sing-song from Berlin’s Komische Oper


norman lebrecht

April 23, 2020

Barrie Kosky and Alma Sadé present Yiddish operetta songs on the empty stage of the Komische Oper Berlin.

A virus? Nur mitzves.



  • It’s always so pleasant hearing Mame Loschen Deitschland and Kosky is so great.

  • V.Lind says:

    Very uplifting — I opened this just after watching the applause for the NHS and feel better about humanity today. (Of course we have not had Donald’s Daily Diatribe yet… :))

  • Larry says:

    Wonderful! Thank you Norman for this. I’m sure even the goyim will love it!!

  • Borech says:

    Excellent! Yiddish has largely died out, apart from its use by some ultra-orthodox Jews as their first language and some academic studies. It was the lingua franca in Europe pre- Holocaust.
    Barrie Kosky is a force of nature. He is alwa
    ys interesting, thoughtful and provocative. ROH and Glyndebourne productions of his in recent years come to mind.
    He is also not afraid of confronting German sensibilities, even though that country is where his day job is. It was Yom Hashoah yesterday- Holocaust Memorial Day.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      “Yiddish was the lingua franca in Europe pre- Holocaust”

      No it wasn’t. It was widely spoken among Ashkenzy Jews, but it was rare for anyone else to speak it. Standard German would have been the “lingua franca” in central and eastern Europe in the 19th century and up to WW2. People in Western Europe would have used English or French as their “lingua franca”, which many Germans would have known. The dominance of English really postdates WW2.

  • fred says:

    Is Alma Sadé related to the tenor Gabriel Sade? It’s quite nice actually with some lovely piano playing as well. Now a Cd plz !!!!

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    I have a feeling that once Barrie Kosky leaves Komische Oper the repertoire will be very different, much more like other opera houses. It is a pity because that is not their strength, as I have noticed in the inadequate Der Rosenkavalier I have watched last year.

  • Ben G. says:

    If any of you can obtain the series “Unorthodox” through Netflix or other, I suggest you watch it. The last episode shows that Shira Haas is a very, very, talented singer.

    I won’t tell you what she sings, but I will say that it has to do with the theme of this SD article.

    • V.Lind says:

      Saw it weeks ago, as well as a doco about other ultra-Orthodox people leaving. Left me thinking that one fundamentalist religion is as bad as the next (a feeling that began in me with my own, which is the big C). And you are right about the girl’s voice.

  • stanley cohen says:

    Git gesangt!

  • Opera Tourist says:

    More, please! MUCH more!