The Pearls of Cleopatra

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Perlen Der Cleopatra

Dinner On-Stage with Frühsammers at the Komische Oper

At least one event at eat! berlin 2017 was like something out of a fairy tale: ten lucky guests started with an accomplished performance of the bright and buoyant operetta “Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs” at the Komische Oper. After the curtain‘s fall, the selected few were treated to a fine menu of seven (dwarf) courses conjured up by Michelin-star chef Sonja Frühsammer (three toques) including perfect wine pairings from her husband Peter Frühsammer. As the evening‘s festivities drew to a close, one thing was clear to all involved: an encore was required. Tickets for this event sold out in just 2 (!) minutes.

With the support of the wonderful team at the Komische Oper, a suitable piece was soon identified for this year. “Die Perlen der Cleopatra” by Oscar Straus (no relation to the master of the waltz) is a forgotten little gem from the Golden Twenties, with plenty of atmosphere, catchy tunes, jazz and irreverent Berlin humor. Under the baton of Artistic Director Barrie Kosky, the piece was revived at the Komische Oper in December 2016, almost 90 years after its initial run. The piece‘s composer and librettist were both Jewish and so the piece was banned by the Nazis before fading into obscurity.

Sixteen fortunate souls will take their seats directly on the stage and partake in this year‘s multicourse feast, for which Sonja Frühsammer will be drawing inspiration from the performance‘s themes. The meal will take place amidst the operetta‘s scenic backdrops, which the visitors will have already seen in action from our private box. We‘ll then meet at 6 pm, find our spots and commence with the gourmet fun. Peter Frühsammer is more than just an innovative sommelier; he was one of the first top chefs in Berlin, and one of the first to earn a star as well. He‘ll be delivering a few well-timed hors d‘oeuvres and then the first course, and of course suitable liquid accompaniment. We certainly hope that it‘s not the titular drink from the operetta: the Egyptian queen famously drank a pearl that had been dissolved in vinegar.

The libretto from “The Pearls of Cleopatra” is easily explained: the Nile is drying out, the Romans are at the gates to the city and the locals are growing restless. The eccentric Egyptian queen, played by the grand Dagmar Manzel, is also suffering from a lack of manpower and has to work quickly to get out of this mess. There‘s plenty of the famed Berlin attitude, parodies of operas such as Aida and saucy dance scenes.

Oscar Straus‘ operetta actually saw its premiere in Vienna in 1923, but traveled a year later to the Komische Oper in Berlin, where it was a massive success. Cleopatra was played in those days by famed singer Fritzi Massary; a young, still unknown actor named Hans Albers played the Roman general Marcus Antonius. Its popularity among Berliners may have reflected the “Egyptomania” gripping the nation at that time: the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti had only recently been put on exhibition on the city‘s Museum Island.

The wines are from the winery Klaus Zimmerling (VDP), which combines art and wine in a very special way. On the labels you can see the sculptures of the winemakers wife, Malgorzata Chodakowsk. You can also find these in the hole vineyard.

  • Sa. 24.2.
  • Only 16 tickets!
  • Several appetizer and courses, partly on stage, with accompanying wines and loge tickets
  • Komische Oper Berlin
  • Behrenstraße 55–57 | 10117 Berlin
  • Start: 6:00 pm
  • 179,-

eat! Berlin
eat! Berlin