This year’s version of “State Opera for All” was jointly presented by BMW and StaatsOper Unter den Linden and took place on Sunday.
The event marked the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven, and the 450th anniversary of the Staatskapelle Berlin. With 2,000 visitors in attendance, “State Opera for All” 2020 was organised to express thanks to all those who contributed greatly and helped to provide critical services during the crisis.
The “State Opera for All” this year provided a reduction in seating capacity accommodating only 2,000 spectators following the protective guidelines for events. This event marks a significant symbol for the return of culture at this the open-air concert. In addition, the event gave all those who provided vital support for the work in key sectors of society, such as healthcare , retail and logistics, a sign of appreciation. A portion of tickets was reserved for citizens in one of these industries. Within minutes, all tickets were out of stock. The concert was again provided free of charge thanks to BMW Berlin.
Berlin ‘s mayor Michael Müller took over the patronage of “State Opera for Everyone.” Also participating were high-ranking political and business leaders, along with virologist Prof. Dr Christian, actress Iris Berben and author Katja Eichinger. The ZDF culture presenter Lisa Ruhfus moderated the concert this year.
From 8 pm onwards and on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the birth of Ludwig van Beethoven, the Staatskapelle Berlin performed two violin romances with Anne-Sophie Mutter as a soloist, the “Egmont” Overture and the Symphony No. 9, the “Ode to Joy,” with Julia Kleiter, Waltraud Meier, Andreas Schager and René Pape playing the solo parts as well as the Staatsopernchor. A live stream of the concert was available online. It will be broadcast on the German television channel ZDF at 10.15 pm on 13 September 2020.
“What an amazing feeling to perform at Bebelplatz in front of 2,000 people and to finally feel the audience’s energy again! Being part of this open-air concert that was first and foremost dedicated to all those whose efforts contributed significantly to our society over the previous months was particularly important to me”, said Anne-Sophie Mutter.
Matthias Schulz, Director of the Staatsoper Unter den Linden: “We are back – and how! It was paramount for all of us at Staatsoper Unter den Linden to mark the return of great symphonic music, and above all to present a performance that included vocals and the Staatsopernchor. I am deeply grateful to our partners BMW and ZDF, together with whom we continued to believe in our initiative even when faced with the most difficult of circumstances. At Staatsoper Unter den Linden and in all of Berlin and its surroundings, we are all in need of such highly emotive symbols of solidarity and the shared experiences of cultural events”.
“Staatsoper Unter den Linden and BMW started the series of open-air concerts, ‘State Opera for All’, in the historical center of Germany’s capital in 2007. Since then, we were able to welcome over half a million visitors to this great event at Bebelplatz. There were visibly less guests in front of this impressive setting, yesterday, as there were only 2,000 visitors allowed on the ground due to Covid-19. Therefore, we are even more delighted that this year’s concert could take place that way at all. During these uncertain times it is music that vigorously reminds us of the power humanity is capable of. I hope that ‘State Opera for All’ with Beethoven’s ‘Ode to Joy’ has been an inspiring symbol during these challenging times. It was a special honor to welcome lots of people working in sectors crucial to the society and who helped with their social engagement. We are thankful for their tireless commitment”, said Sebastian Mackensen, BMW Group Senior Vice President Market Germany.
The Staatskapelle Berlin celebrates its 450th anniversary in 2020, and marks this special occasion during the 2019/2020 and 2020/2012 seasons. The Staatskapelle Berlin is one of the oldest orchestras in the world, with a history that stretches back to 1570. In 1992, Daniel Barenboim was appointed general director of music for the Staatskapelle.
The BMW Group has funded hundreds of cultural organisations around the world for nearly 50 years. The collaboration with the Staatsoper Unter den Linden is an integral part of a wide range of BMW Group collaborations and numerous concert halls and ensembles from around the globe, from South Africa to China. The collaborations include a series of open-air concerts held in Munich and at Trafalgar Square in London, and in Moscow since 2018.