Schering Stiftung


Salon at the Komische Oper Berlin

Salon at the Komische Oper Berlin
Photo: Jan Windszus Photography

Intoxication and Ecstasy

Salon about the Art and Chemistry of the Dionysian

Salon at the Komische Oper Berlin
Photo: Jan Windszus Photography

Intoxication and Ecstasy

Salon about the Art and Chemistry of the Dionysian


October 12, 2020, 7:30–9 p.m.


Komische Oper Berlin
Behrenstr. 55-57, 10117 Berlin


Tickets at 12 EUR / 8 EUR (reduced rate) are available via the ticket service of Komischen Oper Berlin.

The salon “Intoxication and ecstasy ” could not take place in the 2019/20 season due to the corona pandemic and will be made up for on October, 12, 2020.

Intoxication and ecstasy stand out from the everyday, as festival, as a fireworks of the senses. They focus or expand our perception and release undreamt-of energies. When intoxicated, we lose self-control and surrender to an unreal, dreamlike state. There is a widespread stereotype that intoxication and excess are an essential part of the artistic creative process – at least since Friedrich Nietzsche, the Dionysian principle has been conceived of as the driver of creativity.

What happens in our body when we are intoxicated? To what extent is intoxication a desirable state? And how is it related to addiction? What place does society ascribe to intoxication? And what do music, dance, and the theater have to do with all of this?

These questions will be discussed at a salon entitled “Intoxication and Ecstasy – Salon about the Art and Chemistry of the Dionysian” by Prof. Dr. Renate Schlesier (religious studies scholar, FU Berlin) and Prof. Dr. Falk Kiefer (medical director and addiction neurobiologist, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim).

They will be accompanied by singers and instrumentalists of the Komische Oper Berlin.

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Program Flyer Season 2019/20

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The speakers 

Renate Schlesier, Professor of Religious Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, until her retirement in 2017 directed research projects on ritual and cultural anthropological aspects of play, the relationship between aesthetic and religious experience, ancient Greek theatre, and the god Dionysus in modern literature and religious history. She studied general rhetoric, philosophy, classical philology and archaeology, art history, Romance studies and religious studies in Tübingen, Paris and Berlin. Her research interests, which focus on specific transformations of culture, literature, visual art and religion, range from antiquity to modernity. She has been a visiting professor in France, Israel, Italy, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, and the United States, as well as at the Munich Centre for Ancient Worlds in 2017/18.


Falk Kiefer, born in 1969, received his doctorate after studying medicine at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. He completed his psychiatric-psychotherapeutic specialist training at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, where he also habilitated in 2004. In 2005 he accepted a professorship for psychiatry and psychotherapy at the University of Heidelberg, and in 2014 he took over the chair for addiction research, which is associated with the position of Medical Director of the Clinic for Addictive Behavior and Addiction Medicine at the Central Institute for Mental Health (ZI) in Mannheim. Prof. Kiefer is President-elect of the German Society for Addiction Research and Therapy (DG-Sucht), board member of the German Addiction Foundation and editor of the journal "European Addiction Research." His research focuses on the aetiopathogenesis, diagnosis, and therapy of addictions.



This Project is realized in cooperation with the following partners:

Komische Oper Berlin
Berlin Science Week
Gegenbauer Facility Management

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