Ever since its establishment in 1892, the house on Behrenstraße has been on the vanguard of developments in contemporary and varied musical theatre time and time again. The institution now known as one of the highest profile opera houses in the German-speaking world opened in 1892 as the "Theater unter den Linden" and then opened again in 1898 after financial difficulties as the "Metropol-Theater". It was famous for its lavish political and satirical 'annual revues', going on to become one of the most important operetta venues in Germany after the First World War.
Walter Felsenstein, who founded the "Komische Oper" in 1947, revolutionised European opera after the Second World War and remains an influential figure for the majority of opera directors who are interested in contemporaneity. This international reputation as a trailblazer for innovative musical theatre is reflected in the many artistic careers that were launched in the house - such as the directors Götz Friedrich and Harry Kupfer as well as the conductors Otto Klemperer, Kurt Masur, Yakov Kreizberg and Kirill Petrenko.
In 2012 Barrie Kosky took over artistic direction of the Komische Oper Berlin and was joined by Henrik Nánási as General Musical Director. Barrie Kosky's artistic approach not only draws on Felsenstein's legacy but on the strong pre-War tradition of Jewish artists' influence on the house. Felsenstein's vision of opera as a form of musical theatre in which music and acting are equally important elements of the production is accompanied by Kosky's aim to create a theatrical experience that appeals to all senses and encompasses the whole range of musical drama from operettas and musicals to projects that defy genre definition.