Tosca Likes to See a Ruhetag for Everyone


What Maria King thinks of Regietheater and scolding in public

With the presentation of Maria King, a Dramatic Soprano from California, this blog continues to publish a series of profiles of young international singers who went to Germany to sing and live. Their answers to a small set of questions show what it takes to move to a foreign place, mainly to Berlin, and pursue the career of their dreams.


Your name:
Maria King

Where are you from?
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Your Fach?
Dramatic soprano

Since when in Berlin?
June 2013

Your favorite role:
Floria Tosca

What do you think of Regietheater?
Sometimes tries too hard to be edgy or shoehorn the opera into the “concept” without honoring the intentions of the original work.

Best opera production you saw in Germany:
Not in Germany, but Un Ballo in Maschera at Wiener Staatsoper

Craziest opera production you saw in Germany:
So many! Maria Stuarda at Berliner Staatsoper, Un Ballo in Maschera, also at Staatsoper

Your last performance:
Some concerts; Mother in Hänsel and Gretel

Your favorite German words:
Steckdose! Muskatnuss. Sumpfotter.*

A thing or habit of Germans you find funny:
Responding to a compliment with “I know!” For example: “Nice dress!” “I know!”

A thing or habit of Germans you find annoying: Beschimpfen (to scold, AIF) people on the street for doing wrong or illegal things.

A thing or habit of Germans you would like to see in your country, too:
A Ruhetag** in which people just chill.

Your favorite quality in a singer:
Good technical singing! (It should go without saying!)

* Steckdose stems from the verb stecken (to put something into something else) and Dose (can). It is a can where you can put something. Steckdose = power outlet. (The plug is called Stecker.) Muskatnuss = nutmeg; Sumpfotter is a compound of Sumpf (swamp) and Otter (otter). A Sumpfotter is a mink. (AIF)

** Ruhetag = day of rest, day off or holiday. (AIF)


Listen to Maria King’s singing:

Watch Maria King singing:

You can see her with me tackling some German grammar in this blog’s video:






Published by


Bernd Hendricks. Born in Duisburg, Germany. Based in Berlin. Writer, German Language Educator. I was six years old when I went to the opera for the first time. My Grandma took me to Hänsel und Gretel at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Duisburg. The first time I met an opera singer personally was during my time as foreign correspondent in New York when at a Christmas party a baritone pelted me with questions about the language of Zauberflöte. He was preparing for his role as Papageno. After my return to Berlin in September 2010, I have been giving German lessons to singers on their audition tours. My workshops in Berlin, Vienna, and London are based on my widely read book Ach, ich fühl’s—German for Opera Singers in Three Acts: Studying, Speaking, Singing. My latest book, Die Frist ist um—Navigate the Language of 10 German Operas, takes you on a journey through the language of the most popular and often performed operas in the German-speaking countries. I am also the author of several non-fiction books and two novels.

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