A Christmas mishap has poured cold water on Berlin's Deutsche Oper. A faulty fire sprinkler system flooded the stage, forcing the opera house to call off performances of "The Nutcracker" at the last minute.
A top opera house in Berlin had to cancel two Christmas Day performances of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" ballet on Monday after its stage was flooded the night before.
The Deutsche Oper announced the last-minute cancellations on Twitter, saying that a "technical defect" in the opera house's fire sprinkler system caused the stage to flood.
"Whether the performances from December 26 to 31 can take place — and in what form — cannot be determined at this time," the opera house wrote.
Ticket sales for performances taking place until New Year's Eve were put on hold as a precaution.
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Water pumped out of opera house
Experts are currently working to assess damage to the stage, the head of the opera house's press office, Kirsten Hehmeyer, told news agency dpa.
The sprinkler system went off one day prior, on December 24, soaking the stage and causing a large amount of damage. The stage's extensive lighting system appears to have been damaged as well, Hehmeyer said.
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It was not immediately clear what caused the sprinkler system to malfunction.
The enormous amount of water had to be pumped out by the fire department and fans have been placed to dry out the soggy performance area. There were no injuries reported.
The Christmas classic "Nutcracker" ballet isn't the only show to be impacted by the faulty sprinkler system.
Opera performances of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "The Magic Flute" as well as Gioachino Rossini's "The Barber of Seville" were also scheduled to take place in the next few days.
rs/msh (dpa, epd)