Music: Rebirth in Dresden

After 40 years, the Semper Opera opens with politics and song

AN INFERNO LIKE DRESDEN MUST NEVER BE REPEATED! proclaimed one banner, its white letters imprinted on a scarlet background. EUROPE WANTS NO EUROSHIMA! exclaimed another; SOCIALISM, PEACE, FREEDOM, declared a third. In the streets, toddlers waved tiny red flags with the hammer and sickle, and huge portraits of Marx, Lenin and Soviet President Konstantin Chernenko bobbed above a crowd of some 150,000 gathered at the Theaterplatz. From a platform emblazoned with the dove of peace, East German Communist Party Chief Erich Honecker faced the blackened ruins of the city's cathedral and, without a trace of irony, intoned: "Today Dresden is a...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!