BMG Signs Long-Term Lease For The Theater des Westens
BMG has signed a two-year lease for the Theater des Westens, Berlin’s oldest theater for musicals and operettas. The successful BMG musical “Ku’damm 56” has been playing there since November 2021. The new BMG musical “Romeo & Julia – Liebe ist alles” will premiere at the theater soon. BMG also plans to include residencies for national and international recording artists.
The Berlin-based Bertelsmann music subsidiary BMG has signed a two-year lease for Berlin’s Theater des Westens (TdW), making the city’s oldest theater for musicals and operettas with its 1,600 seats the home for BMG’s growing live events business until the end of 2024. According to BMG, the plan for the theater will not only include the growing roster of stage musicals but also a series of residencies for national and international recording artists.
The TdW’s revered 120-year stage has in its time played host to Marlene Dietrich, Josephine Baker, legendary 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!”. The TdW is operated by the Netherlands-based live entertainment company, while the building is owned by the city of Berlin.
BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said: “The Theater des Westens is arguably the greatest theater 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 be making this investment in the musical life of our hometown.” Ulf Dewald, Director Operations at Stage Entertainment GmbH, 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 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”, a new musical from the successful team behind “Ku’damm 56”. “Ku’damm 56”, written by BMG-published songwriters Peter Plate and Ulf Leo Sommer, is considered the most successful new German language musical in years, winning critical acclaim and selling over 200,000 tickets since its premiere in November 2021.
BMG’s plan for the theater will also include residencies for recording artists. This has proven to be a successful model in the US for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Adele, and Britney Spears. BMG 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, and performances by stars from Germany’s largest commercial broadcaster, RTL.
“We are committed to making the Theater des Westens the premier venue for entertainment in Berlin,” said BMG Chief Content Officer Dominique Casimir. “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.”