#JailSessions and the Opus Klassik Awards

#JailSessions with members of the State Opera Choir, the Apollo Choir, and the Youth Choir of the State Opera Unter den Linden under the direction of Martin Wright 

Videos released on Friday, October 16

Members of the State Opera Choir, the Apollo Choir, and the youth choir of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden took part in the #JailSessions Project in the Kunstanstalt, the former prison of the Köpenick District Court. The result is a music video in which the choirs sing “Va pensiero,” the “prisoners’ chorus” from Verdi’s NABUCCO, under the direction of choir director Martin Wright and accompanied by two musicians from the Staatskapelle Berlin. There is an accompanying making-of video that discusses the isolation of singers during the pandemic and singing in a historically charged and depressing place such as the former detention center of the Köpenick district court. The videos aired on October 16 at 12 p.m. EST on www.staatsoper-berlin.de and www.arthelps.de/projekte/jailsessions/. 

JailSessions is an art project by artists who voluntarily go into isolation and make art and music in the former prison of the Koepenick district court. The project was created during the COVID-19 lockdown in April 2020 in cooperation with ArtHelps and the Kunstanstalt. In a so-called jail session, artists (including musicians, dancers, painters) spend a specified time in solitary confinement in a Prison cell, let themselves be inspired and transform the cell with their art into a place of freedom.

As for many choirs around the world, the last few months have been a great challenge for the choirs of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden – for the State Opera Choir as well as for the amateur choirs, the Apollo Choir and the Youth Choir. The pandemic-related restrictions made it impossible to sing together at times and resulted in the longest rehearsal and performance break in the history of the choirs. Due to the gradual relaxation of these measures and the parallel development of safety procedures, rehearsals in small groups have been possible again for a few weeks and the State Opera Choir can also perform on stage again. The choir made its return to the stage of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden on October 15th, with a smaller cast and social distancing, to resume LES PÊCHEURS DE PERLES in the production of Wim Wenders.

The OPUS KLASSIK award ceremony will be broadcast on Sunday, October 18th on ZDF 

with awards for the Children’s Opera House Berlin and our ensemble member Elsa Dreisig

On October 18, 2020, the Opus Klassik music prize will be awarded in the Konzerthaus Berlin, presented by Thomas Gottschalk. While there will be significantly fewer people in the audience and on stage due to COVID-19, the Opus Klassik awards still set an example for a lively culture at this time. The award ceremony will be broadcast on the television channel ZDF on Sunday at 4:15 p.m. EST.

At this year’s Opus Klassik award ceremony, Elsa Dreisig and the Berlin Children’s Opera House will also be honored respectively as a member of the ensemble and a project of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Elsa Dreisig receives the award in the category “Young Vocal Artist” for her album “Morgen.” The Berlin Children’s Opera House is awarded the prize for promoting young talent. Since the 2018-2019 season, the Children’s Opera House has been one of the flagship projects of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, alongside the Children’s Opera Orchestra. The children’s opera started in Lichtenberg in 2010 and is now active in six Berlin districts thanks to funding from the Berlin Project Fund for Cultural Education. In close cooperation with music and elementary schools as well as a youth leisure center, children in their Kiez music theater are conveyed through play.

The other award winners also include Jakub Józef Orliński and Dorothee Oberlinger, both of whom can be seen during the BAROCKTAGE in November at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden. Congratulations to all winners of the OPUS Prize 2020!

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