Zeitgenössische Oper Berlin
The historical background

The Kroll Opera, run by Otto Klemperer, existed only from autumn 1927 until 3rd July 1931, and was officially called ‘State Opera at the Square of the Republic’. It then was closed down by many friends and powerful enemies, due to political and economical reasons. During this short period, a time of great intellectual tensions between the young ideals of the Weimar Republic and the conservative and nationalistic tendencies, music- and theatre history was written there. Klemperer did not only show new productions of classial works, which become the basis of a completely new style of theatre, leaving the pompous old-fashioned Stateopera style behind, but also produced contemporary works by Stravinsky, Hindemith, Milhaud and Schönberg, staged by artists, set-designers and directors such as de Chirico, Moholy-Nagy, Schlemmer, Neher, Gründgens and Fehling.


After the fire of the Reichstag, the parliament of the Reichstag used the Krollopera, just opposite from their building as their new venue. But soon it had run its course in this function. With the new law of 23rd March 1933 the Reichstag resigned in the Krollopera. After this date the only aim of meetings here were to enthusiastically celebrate the will of Adolf Hitler.


The Krollopera was badly damaged during the Second World War. The square was cleared completely in order to make space for the architectural plans for the city by Albert Speer (1926 called Kings Square, then called Square of the Republic only to be renamed Kings Square again by Hitler after his takeover in 1933). The original symmetry of the square, where the Reichstag and the Krollopera used to stand, was only vaguely to be recognised thereafter. The Siegessäule with the Goldangel (Goldelse) was moved to the Big Star Square. On the 27th March 1951 the ruin of the Krollopera was demolished .