Threepenny Opera": The Cast

New production in January 2021

A new "Threepenny Opera" for Berlin: The Berliner Ensemble announced today the cast of the new production of Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera". The new production, directed by Barrie Kosky and conducted by Adam Benzwi, will have premiere on January 29th, 2021, at the Schiffbauerdamm, which is also the historical site of the opening night. Nico Holonics, who has been a member of the Berliner Ensemble since 2017, will play the role of Mack the Knife. He already has presented "The Tin Drum" by Günter Grass in a solo evening directed by Oliver Reese with great success. The role of Polly Peachum will be performed by Cynthia Micas, who joined the ensemble last season and previously was a member of the Maxim Gorki Theater and the Munich Residenztheater, among others. Tilo Nest and Constanze Becker will impersonate the Peachum couple. In addition, Kathrin Wehlisch is casted for the role of Tiger-Brown, Bettina Hoppe can be seen as Ginny-Jenny, Laura Balzer as Lucy Brown and Josefin Platt as the Moon over Soho. All of the eight leading roles are played by permanent members of the Berliner Ensemble.


Rehearsals for the new production - altogether only the fourth new interpretation at the Schiffbauerdamm since the premiere - will begin on December 7, 2020, if rehearsals are possible. "Die Dreigroschenoper" is an adaptation of "Beggar's Opera" by John Gay and Johann Christoph Pepusch. On August 31, 1928, the new director Ernst Josef Aufricht opened his directorship at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm with the premiere of Bertolt Brecht's and Kurt Weill's "The Threepenny Opera" in a stage design by Caspar Neher. At first Erich Engel directed the opera, but after chaotic rehearsals Brecht himself took over the direction towards the end. It became one of the greatest theatre successes of the Weimar Republic. The last production at the Berliner Ensemble was directed by Robert Wilson, and premiered in 2007. 

Nico Holonics as Mack the Knife

Nico Holonics studied at the Ernst Busch Academy of Dramatic Arts in Berlin. This was followed by engagements at the Munich Volkstheater and the Munich Kammerspiele. For his achievements he was awarded the Bavarian Arts Promotion Prize. In addition, he was a lecturer at the Mozarteum Salzburg and the HfMDK Frankfurt and is currently a lecturer at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch. He also works as a narrator for various audio book works. Since 2012 he has been a member of the ensemble at Schauspiel Frankfurt and from the season 2017/18 he is part of the Berliner Ensemble.

Cynthia Micas as Polly Peachum

Cynthia Micas studied acting at the University of the Arts in Berlin and performed at HAU, Deutsches Theater and Maxim Gorki Theater. In 2013 followed a four-year engagement at the Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin. In 2014 she was nominated Actress of the Year by the critics' survey Theater heute and received several nominations for Young Actress of the Year. In 2017/18 she moved to the Residenztheater/Bayerische Staatsschauspiel Munich and appeared in numerous productions there. Since the 2019/20 season Cynthia Micas is part of the Berliner Ensemble.

Tilo Nest as Jonathan J. Peachum

Tilo Nest studied acting at the "Mozarteum" in Salzburg. Since 1986 he has been engaged at the Schauspielhaus Bochum, Theater Essen, Schauspiel Köln, Schauspielhaus Zürich, Theater Basel and Schauspielhaus Hamburg. From 2009 to 2015 he was a member of the permanent ensemble of the Vienna Burgtheater. Tilo Nest first appeared in the cinema in 1993 in Peter Sehr's "Kaspar Hauser". Musically, Tilo Nest has been touring for years with Hanno Friedrich and Alexander Paeffgen as "ABBA jetzt!" and with his own music programs. Since 2011 he has also been working increasingly as a director. He joined the Berliner Ensemble with the 2017/18 season.

Constanze Becker as Celia Peachum

Constanze Becker studied at the "Ernst Busch" Academy of Dramatic Arts. She performed in Leipzig, Düsseldorf and at the Deutsches Theater Berlin and worked with Jürgen Gosch, Michael Thalheimer and Karin Henkel, among others. In 2008 she was voted "Actress of the Year" by "Theater heute". Since 2009 she is a member of the ensemble at Schauspiel Frankfurt. Here she acted among others in "Medea" and "Penthesilea" by Michael Thalheimer. For her performance in "Medea" she received the Gertrud-Eysoldt-Ring and the German Theater Prize "Der Faust". Since the 2017/18 season Constanze Becker has been part of the Berliner Ensemble.

Kathrin Wehlisch as Tiger-Brown

Kathrin Wehlisch studied at the Mendelssohn Bartholdy Academy of Music and Theater in Leipzig. From 2000 to 2005 she was a member of the ensemble of the Theater Basel. From 2005 to 2009 she was a member of the Deutsches Theater ensemble. In 2013 Karin Beier invited her to join the ensemble of the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg. From 2016 Kathrin Wehlisch was once again a freelance artist and gave guest performances at the Deutsches Theater Berlin, SchauSpielHaus Hamburg and Teatro Arriaga Antzokia in Bilbao. She has appeared in numerous film and television productions. Since the 2017/18 season Kathrin Wehlisch is part of the Berliner Ensemble.

Laura Balzer as Lucy Brown

Laura Balzer first studied painting (subject class Olav Christopher Jenssen) at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig from 2012 to 2015. While still a student, she switched to acting and studied at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch from 2015 to 2019. During this time she played the character Shen Te/ Shui Ta in "The Good Person of Szechwan" by Bertolt Brecht, directed by Peter Kleinert at the Schaubühne. With the ensemble piece "Messiah from Hesse", directed by Marius Schötz, the production won the Max-Reinhardt Prize at the Acting School Meeting 2018 in Graz. Since the 2019/20 season it has been part of the Berliner Ensemble.

Bettina Hoppe as Ginny-Jenny

Bettina Hoppe was trained as an actress at the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin. First engagements followed at the Deutsches Theater Berlin and the Maxim Gorki Theater. From 2006 to 2009 she was a permanent ensemble member of the Schaubühne Berlin. From 2009 to 2014 she was a member of the ensemble of Schauspiel Frankfurt. For her performance of Cäcilie in Goethe's "Stella" she was awarded as best actress at the Hessische Theatertage 2011 and nominated for the theatre award "Der Faust". Since the 2017/18 season she is part of the Berliner Ensemble.

Josefin Platt as the moon over Soho

Josefin Platt studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Engagements took her to the Burgtheater in Vienna, the Berliner Ensemble and to Cologne, Stuttgart and Munich. In 1980 she was awarded the Kainz Medal. She has worked with Michael Thalheimer, Oliver Reese, Claus Peymann, Karin Henkel, Dieter Dorn, Thomas Langhoff, Andrea Breth and Kay Voges, among others. From 2009 she was engaged at Schauspiel Frankfurt.  Since the 2017/18 season she is part of the Berliner Ensemble.

Director Barrie Kosky

Barrie Kosky, born in Melbourne in 1967, has been Artistic Director and Chief Director of the Komische Oper Berlin since the 2012/13 season. At the end of his first season, the Komische Oper Berlin was voted Opera House of the Year in the critics' survey conducted by Opernwelt magazine, and in the same survey he was named Director of the Year in 2016. In 2014 he received the International Opera Award as Director of the Year, and the following year the Komische Oper Berlin was awarded the International Opera Award in the category Ensemble of the Year. Kosky is one of the most sought-after opera directors in the world, engagements have taken him to the Bavarian State Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Frankfurt Opera, Zurich Opera House, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the Bayreuth Festival.


Musical Conductor Adam Benzwi

Adam Benzwi, born 1965 in San Diego, California, is a US-American conductor, pianist and musical director of the Musical/Show program at the Berlin University of the Arts. He studied at Columbia University, New York and Stanford University, California and has lived in Berlin since 1984. Since 2013 he has been working regularly at the Komische Oper Berlin and as musical director and arranger he has worked closely with Barrie Kosky on productions such as "Ball im Savoy", "Eine Frau, die weiß, was sie will!", "Märchen im Grand-Hotel" and "Die Perlen der Cleopatra". As a pianist he accompanies soloists such as Andrea Sawatzki, Daniela Ziegler, Gisela May, Helmut Baumann and Désirée Nick on the grand piano.


Set Designer Rebecca Ringst

Rebecca Ringst was born in 1975 in Berlin and studied stage and costume design with Andreas Reinhardt at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden as well as electronic art and video in Barcelona. Since 2008 she has been working regularly with Calixto Bieito. She has designed stage sets for the Komische Oper Berlin, the English National Opera, the Zurich Opera House, the Stuttgart Opera, the Semperoper Dresden, the Staatstheater Nürnberg, the Den Norske Opera Oslo, the Residenztheater Munich, the Deutsches Theater Berlin and the Goodman Theatre Chicago. She has worked with many renowned directors, such as Barrie Kosky, Andrea Moses and Elisabeth Stöppler. For her stage design for Stefan Herheim's "Der Rosenkavalier" in Stuttgart, she was awarded as Stage Designer of the Year 2010 by the magazine Opernwelt.


Costume Designer Dinah Ehm

Dinah Ehm was born in Augsburg and trained as a dressmaker at the Augsburg Theater. After an assistant at the Staatstheater Stuttgart she studied costume design at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden. She then worked as an assistant and wardrobe master at the Theater Basel and the Theater an der Ruhr in Mühlheim. After working as a cut designer in New York, she set up her own costume studio in Berlin. Since 2006 she has been working as a freelance costume designer for opera and drama, for example at the State Opera, Staatsschauspiel Stuttgart, Staatstheater Mainz and Stadttheater Bern. She has worked with Armin Petras, Ekat Cordes, Albrecht Hirche, Ingo Kerkhof and Cora Frost, among others. At the Komische Oper Berlin she designed the costume design for "Pelléas and Mélisande" under the direction of Barrie Kosky.