Just in: An American takes charge of Berlin opera houseNews
Berlin’s Komische Oper, the sparkiest house in town, has named James Gaffigan as its next music director, starting mid-2023.
Gaffigan, 42, is presently in his first season as music director of Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía in Valencia, and is principal guest at
Trondheim Symphony and Opera and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; he is also music director of the Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra. Something will have to give.
Susanne Moser and Philip Bröking, incoming artistic co-directors, said: “James Gaffigan is a perfect fit for the artistic profile of the Komische Oper Berlin. He is a team player, young and curious, yet experienced and with a meticulous sense of stylistic diversity. His broad and varied repertoire as well as his multi-faceted interests – including musical education – will be of great value to us in the years to come and a great help to master the various challenges related to the renovation of Komische Oper Berlin’s home theater. We are happy and thankful, both from a personal as well as an artistic point of view!”
James Gaffigan said: “When I came to Berlin for the first time, I immediately felt that the city had something in common with my hometown of New York City – a special openness. Both cities are open to all people, regardless of cultural or social origin, regardless of gender or identity. And in the heart of this city lies the Komische Oper Berlin, a unique cultural center that is a place of refuge for people from all over the world and – as required – offers concerts or musical theater, entertainment or stimulation, reflection or inspiration. I am proud to be able to shape this institution in the future as General Music Director and a member of the artistic management team, together with the wonderful orchestra and the entire ensemble. I am grateful that I have been able to enjoy an intensive education and cultural
experience since my early childhood, which would not have been possible without the public education system of the city of New York, since I inherently lacked the means. I, therefore, also see my task of giving something back with this gift. I'm looking forward to doing that at the Komische Oper Berlin.”