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SADO OPERA’s Corner of Berlin: Wilde Renate

By Andrew Cottrill . October 25, 2019

SADO OPERA share their favourite Corner of Berlin: Salon zur Wilden Renate.

“Wilde Renate: Our mother and lover, our passion and our home.”

Being unabashed about my love for stage makeup, over-the-top theatrics and Prince, it was clear I’d fall for SADO OPERA as soon as I heard them. In fact, I didn’t even need to hear them – the first second I saw The Colonel looking like the devious rear admiral in some pirate navy of lovers, I knew SADO OPERA were one of my bands.

They flit between silly, sexy, poignant and pointedly-political. Their manifesto is funk, fucking and freedom – plus Katja’s raps are outstanding.

Since I first interviewed them, it’s been great to see them grow, improve, and play all around the world to ever-larger audiences (except that time at that terribly-marketed weed festival at Columbiahalle when only three people turned up. Still, a private gig). They even got the chance to share a stage with plastic-faced non-funnyman Conan O’Brien!

Plus, due to SADO OPERA, BERLIN LOVES YOU was once temporarily banned in Russia (whilst I was on holiday there). Which was cool.

Now they’re going to share their favourite place to party with us.


Since our previous appearance in BERLIN LOVES YOU, many fun things have happened. There’s been a couple of new video releases – both of them pretty much connected to and inspired by Berlin.

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There was In The Dark, which we made together with amazing Berlin-based queer artist Rory Midhani.

Dedicated to Ficken3000 and already banned by YouTube, the video has been nominated for several queer film festival awards all around Europe, including a Berlin Music Video Awards nomination. So yeah, maybe we should not be too upset about YouTube.

Our latest video – Patriarchs – was filmed on the streets of Berlin. We teamed up with young and talented Russian production duo, Klingi. Initially, we planned “Patriarchs” as a video collaboration with various feminist and pro-feminist activists and artists. Klingi developed this idea of art as a protest and action – the desire to change the narrative of reality. Therefore, unfriendly objects and sculptures representing the older patriarchal presence in the video are transformed into new contemporary art installations.

SADO OPERA’s Corner of Berlin: Wilde Renate

We were born in St. Petersburg, Russia and we love our hometown as well as we love many other cities and places we had a chance to travel to. But Berlin is a place we call home and moving here is without exaggeration one of the key events in our lives and in our story.

Our very first trip to Berlin happened in 2009, our first gig following in 2011. We started visiting come back regularly, each time with a new special show for Wilde Renate. And finally, we got to move here in 2014 and have lived happily ever after.

It probably will come as no surprise that we’d love to talk about Wilde Renate.

Wilde Renate: Our mother and lover, our passion and our home.

We can clearly remember the very first time we entered Renate. We flew in from Moscow after a sleepless night. Our flight had been delayed and we were running late for the show.

Excited and nervous – this was the night of our first gig in the club and one of our very first gigs in Berlin – we were all shivering with anticipation.

We’d heard a lot about the club from our colleagues and friends. And the moment we entered this wonderland, we felt home. Not “like home”, we felt that we were home. This was the place and the atmosphere we had longed for, imagined in our heads for years. It was a relief to find out it was real. It existed in real life.

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We cherish this mutual love affair that we have with Renate.

And we are forever grateful to all the Renate family members who have had strong faith in us and in what we are doing. And giving us the possibility to play and to grow.

Without their support, it would have been almost impossible for us to move to Berlin from Russia.

Wilde Renate itself has changed and grown a lot since then too.

The small Halli-Galli floor, where we originally played, has transformed into a big floor which is now the main techno room of the club – Black Floor.

And the room that was our first dressing room and tiny backstage area back in December 2011 has grown into a bigger Absinthe Floor – this is where we now host our monthly Love Radio shows.

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Another super nice place is Wilde Renate’s open-air sister ELSE, just across the bridge from the club. It is a fantastic place to hang out during the summer by the river. And there are a lot of cool acts booked to play this season. So see you there!


SADO OPERA’s next event – Taxi -> Nixelpixel & SADO OPERA – is this Saturday 22nd at Ficken3000. It sees them sharing the decks with Nika Vodwood, a Russian intersectional feminist activist, illustrator and Youtuber with half a million of subscribers across her social media channels.

At 21:00, Nika will be hosting a workshop on the different ways of being engaged in activism for those who understand that something is wrong, but need help in order to start doing something about it. Then, at 22:30, the party starts. Find out more information here.

Listen to SADO OPERA’s Love Radio playlist on Spotify

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Salon zur Wilden Renate
Alt-Stralau 70, 10245 Berlin