The Deutsche Oper Berlin is an opera company located in Berlin, Germany, in what was formerly West Berlin. The resident building, also called Deutsche Oper Berlin, also is home to the Staatsballett Berlin.
The company's history goes back to the Deutsches Opernhaus built by the city of Charlottenburg (Bismarckstraße 34-37) from 1911 and opened on November 7, 1912 with a performance of Beethoven's Fidelio, conducted by Ignatz Waghalter.
After the incorporation of Charlottenburg into Greater Berlin the name of the resident building was changed to Städtische Oper (Municipal Opera House) in 1925. With the Nazi Machtergreifung in 1933, the opera was under control of the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Minister Joseph Goebbels had the name changed back to Deutsches Opernhaus, competing the Berlin State Opera under the control of his rival Minister President Hermann Göring. In 1935, the building was remodeled by Paul Baumgarten and the seating reduced from 2300 to 2098. Carl Ebert, the pre-World War II general manager, chose to emigrate from Germany rather than endorse a Nazi view of music, and went on to co-found the Glyndebourne opera festival in England. The opera house was destroyed on November 23, 1943. Ebert later returned as general manager after the war.
After the war, the company used the building of the Theater des Westens until the new building, designed by Fritz Bornemann, was completed on September 24, 1961. The opening production was Mozart's Don Giovanni. The new building opened with the current name.
Past General Music Directors have included Bruno Walter, Ferenc Fricsay, Lorin Maazel, Gerd Albrecht, Jesús López Cobos, and Christian Thielemann. In October 2005, the Italian conductor Renato Palumbo was appointed Generalmusikdirector as of the 2006-2007 season. In October 2007, the Deutsche Oper announced the appointment of Donald Runnicles as their next Generalmusikdirector, effective August 2009, for an initial contract of 5 years. Simultaneously, Palumbo and the Deutsche Oper mutually agreed to terminate his contract, effective November 2007.
Since 2004, the Deutsche Oper's Intendantin has been Kirsten Harms.