BMG has booked Berlin’s 1,600-seat Theater des Westens (TdW) every night until the end of 2024, in order to provide a home to its growing live events business.
These will include BMG’s growing roster of stage musicals, as well as a series of residencies by national and international recording artists.
The TdW’s 120-year stage has played host to Marlene Dietrich, Josephine Baker, Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova and Maria Callas. In recent years, it has focused on German-language productions of international hit musicals such as Les Miserables, Chicago and Mamma Mia!.
BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said: “The Theater des Westens is arguably the greatest theatre in the German capital. As a Berlin-born company, and the only German-owned and managed global player in the music industry, we are proud to make this investment in the musical life of our hometown.
Ulf Dewald, director operations at Stage Entertainment, said: “We are delighted to have found in BMG a renowned and ambitious partner for Theater des Westens and are happy to support the company in all marketing efforts for its compelling artistic concept.”
The TdW is operated by the Netherlands-based live entertainment company, while the building is owned by the city of Berlin.
The announcement of BMG’s new two-year lease of the Theater des Westens coincides with news that tickets have gone on sale for Romeo & Julia – Liebe Ist Alles. The new musical is from the team behind hit show Ku’damm 56, which was written by BMG-published songwriters Peter Plate and Ulf Leo Sommer.
BMG’s plans for the theatre will also include residencies from music artists. The company is also working with its fellow Bertelsmann Content Alliance companies to explore the Theater des Westens’ potential for hosting events, such as readings by Penguin Random House authors, Bertelsmann Audio Alliance podcast events, or performances by stars from Germany’s largest commercial broadcaster, RTL.
BMG chief content officer Dominique Casimir said: “We are committed to making the Theater des Westens the premier venue for entertainment in Berlin. Taking such a long lease on a venue is a first for a music company. We are starting with two great shows – Ku’damm 56 and now Romeo & Julia – but there is a lot more to come. Bringing high-end artist residencies to Berlin is a first for Germany. We see a particular opportunity for established artists who want to present a high-end show in a beautiful venue rather than embarking on a regular tour.”