The theatre withstood the economic problems of the 1920s, but was damaged during the Second World War. In 1951, the theatre reopened with the approval and support of the Allies. Under Karl Pschigode, who held the post of general manager for nigh-on twenty years, the theatre quickly returned to its former glory, with the first German performance of Bernstein’s musical “West Side Story” being just one of the highlights of the post-war period.
In the 70s, the theatre pursued more innovative repertoire, with very well-attended performances of operas by Hans Werner Henze, Isang Yun, Luigi Nono and Bernd Alois Zimmermann. The then music director Hans Gierster, who remained at the house until 1988, promoted modern works, and with new and daring direction, audiences were pushed to consider new ideas and views.