‘Nobody had forgotten anything here. In Berlin, you had to wrestle with the past, you had to build on the ruins, inside them. It wasn’t like America where we scraped the earth clean, thinking we could start again every time. ‘ ― Janet Fitch, White Oleander
Time inevitably shakes hands with Disappointment as Beauty and Pleasure fade downcast and disheartened into the background – this could well be a simple philosophical visual musing on the vicissitudes of life, yet as the silky operatic sounds of mezzo-soprano voices and deep tenor tones weave together into the air it could just as well be an on-stage embodiment of human existence by opera singers in the throes of theatrical passion. The Berlin State Opera performs the Italian oratorio Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno to an enraptured multitude, meanwhile an outdoor theatre company is reenacting Shakespeare in German in the shadows of Frederick III’s Bode Museum on the famed museum island and the eve is just commencing for techno dancers and electro lovers of the darkness migrating towards the throbbing power station come nightclub that is Berghain.
From housing Frederick III in the illustrious golden walls of Sanssouci palace and providing a performing platform for Marlene Dietrich as she sings her self famous with Marlene singt Berlin, to hearing the scientific lectures of fairy tale collectors (the Brothers Grimm) and helplessly observing the fatal heart attack of an exquisite playwright known by the name of Brecht – much has Berlin silently witnessed throughout its bumpy existence and each new year it boasts its kaleidoscopic history of oppression, war, antisemitism, communism, theatre, art, cinema, street graffiti and electro to its visitors old and new.