The Nose in Berlin

Reading time: 1 min. Dmitri Schostakowitsch

The musical principle governing The Nose is stylistic mixture on every level: gallops, polkas and waltzes rub shoulders with artful fugati, bizarre declamations with arioso laments, atonal, highly expressive episodes alternate with playful, neo-classical or folkloristic elements. (Sigrid Neef)

A man wakes up to discover that his nose has disappeared. Rushing off to find it, he eventually finds out that it has grown to the size of a human being, is dressed in the uniform of a State Councillor, and has no intention of being reunited with its former owner.

For his first opera The Nose (1927/28), a gem of absurdly manic, burlesque musical theatre, Dmitri Shostakovich used Nikolai Gogol’s satire on the Russian bureaucracy from 1836 which tells of the loss of a nose (i.e. identity). With incredibly daring music dripping with sophistication and aggression, expressionistically unleashed theatre is presented in a cinematic production.




Dmitri Shostakovich’s The Nose now comes to the Komische Oper Berlin in Barrie Kosky’s new production. Ainārs Rubiķis conducts, Günter Papendell stars as Platon Kusmitsch Kowaljow. Opening night is 16 June, further performances take place on 24, 28 and 30 June and on 6 and 14 July.

View the score:

The Nose

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