The stage is set (well, almost) for Seefestspiele Berlin, a new outdoor opera festival opening in a few days time on the shores of Lake Wannsee. The organisers originally envisioned a Bregenz-style aquatic extravaganza, with their Katarina Thalbach production of Die Zauberflöte set on a mid-lake pontoon. But after the Berlin council and local environmental protestors stuck their oar in, the venue was shifted to a lakeside parking lot with a watery view.
Construction of the vast set, a Masonic-style one-eyed pyramid, continues in parallel with rehearsals. Meanwhile the unforgiving Berlin rain lashes down on performers and construction workers alike.
Despite the fact that tickets are issued with an anorak advisory warning, the organisers claim to have shifted over 30,000 so far.