PHOTO: © (c) Moritz Haase

Ausverkauft | Die Dreigroschenoper

In the organizer's words:
With its legendary songs and a story about love, betrayal, business and morals that is as outrageous as it is cleverly reworked in terms of social criticism and trivial at its core, the "Threepenny Opera," which premiered at this theater in 1928, became a surprise hit worldwide overnight. "First comes the food, then comes the morals," the famous lines go - but those who live in prosperity may live comfortably, but they are far from good. So Mackie Messer, Peachum and Co have, of necessity, their own material advantage in mind first and foremost, and go to considerable theatrical lengths to enforce it without scruples, while at the same time disguising or even glossing over precisely that. For who wouldn't like to be good? In Barrie Kosky's reading, the "Threepenny Opera" becomes a big city ballad about people seeking happiness in a functional, sober world. That would begin, first of all, with not having to constantly worry about being taken advantage of or coming up short. But that is precisely not the case in the world Brecht describes. On the contrary. The fear of the crash lurks in the system, which knows no rules, but only winners or losers: distorting mirror of total capitalism. Thus, for Brecht, it is not human vices that produce social ills, but the other way around. However, in order to draw appropriate conclusions from this and to fundamentally change something about the circumstances, the characters are too busy pretending to others and to themselves. They play with common, clichéd notions of one-time love as a romantic relationship between two people, with ideas of eternal friendship, of family care and compassion as an indispensable prerequisite for the fight against injustice; with set pieces from the melodrama, from moralistic sentimental plays, from dime novels, from the musical comedy, the opera, the operetta, and much more. On the one hand, the authors have allowed themselves great theatrical fun with this, and at the same time, all this false pretense creates a lot of loneliness, in some cases perhaps something like "splendid isolation," in others the path leads rather into darkness, into all the social areas that are excluded. Brecht manages the feat of telling about social coldness without making the characters seem heartless. Their longing for security, closeness and commitment remains present above all because it is not fulfilled - and because of Kurt Weill's unforgettable music. Barrie Kosky, known to Berlin audiences as the chief director and artistic director of the Komische Oper, is taking over the fifth production of the "Threepenny Opera" at this theater. Among other things, he has made a name for himself with his delight in contemporary and cheeky entertainment. Kosky is one of the most sought-after opera directors of the present day. Engagements have taken him around the world. Under the directorship of Oliver Reese, he also staged at the Deutsches Theater as well as at Schauspiel Frankfurt. The book "Die Dreigroschenoper. Making Of. Barrie Kosky directs Brecht/Weill at the Berliner Ensemble" takes a look behind the scenes. It is available for 25 euros at the theater box office. "The Best Theater in Europe in 2021": The New York Times named Barrie Kosky's new production of "The Threepenny Opera" one of the best productions in Europe in 2021. "Performance of the Year 2021": Members of the TheaterGemeinde Berlin voted Barrie Kosky's new production of "The Threepenny Opera" as Performance of the Year 2021. "The Threepenny Opera" with audio description The Berliner Ensemble regularly offers performances of "The Threepenny Opera" with audio description - live description via radio headphones - for viewers:inside with visual impairments. Dates and further information can be found at We regularly present performances of "The Threepenny Opera" with English surtitles. You can find the dates here. Our box office staff will be happy to tell you from which seats you will have a good sight-line to the surtitles. For the best view of both stage and surtitles, we recommend seats in the stalls (Parkett) from row 11, or in the balconies (1. Rang, 2. Rang). Seats in the side boxes have a partially obstructed view. There is a sensitive content notice for this production, which you can read here. This content has been machine translated.


Berliner Ensemble Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1 10117 Berlin