Berlin opera houses and orchestras call for peaceful coexistence

Berlin’s major orchestras and three opera houses call on all Berliners to take a stand against anti-Semitism and hatred. Even in turbulent times, controversies must be addressed non-violently and with tolerance. This basis of our social cohesion is currently under threat.

It has been a month since Hamas’ horrific attack on Israel. It was an act of terrorism whose brutality shocks us, and which cannot in any way be justified. It has resulted in a humanitarian catastrophe in the Middle East, with countless civilian casualties. Our sympathy and thoughts go out to all victims, on both Israeli and Palestinian sides. The effects of this terrible situation reach as far as Germany and especially Berlin.

As the capital of Germany and as home to renowned opera houses and orchestras, Berlin is a global symbol of openness, freedom and tolerance. It is completely unacceptable for Jews in our city to be threatened, and for calls for the annihilation of Israel to be made during demonstrations. »Never again« – the plea that followed the horrors of the Holocaust – must now be repeated with the utmost urgency. We must confront anti- Semitism in Berlin and Germany with the firmest resolve; we all share responsibility for the safety of our Jewish fellow citizens. Like racism and any other form of marginalisation, anti-Semitism can have no place in our society.

Even under the current fraught circumstances, we must not allow ourselves to be guided by hatred and provocation. We can all make a contribution to this.

Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation General manager Andrea Zietzschmann and chief conductor Kirill Petrenko
Rundfunk Orchester und Chöre gGmbH Anselm Rose, managing director of Rundfunk Orchester und
Chöre gGmbH Berlin with its ensembles Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Rundfunkchor Berlin and RIAS Kammerchor Berlin and their chief conductors and artistic directors: Robin Ticciati, Vladimir Jurowski, Gijs Leenaars and Justin Doyle
Konzerthaus Berlin General manager Sebastian Nordmann and chief conductor Joana Mallwitz
Staatsoper Unter den Linden General manager Matthias Schulz
Deutsche Oper Berlin General manager Dietmar Schwarz and general music director Sir Donald Runnicles
Komische Oper Berlin Co-General managers Susanne Moser and Philip Bröking and general music director James Gaffigan

Press release I 8.11.2023