"God save the queen – and fuck Brexit!" This clear formula stands on the t-shirts, which the British musical comedy duo "Carrington-Brown" sells after the show in the Tipi at the Chancellery. For more than ten years, the couple lives in the German capital. Rebecca Carrington has studied classical cello, Colin Brown was formerly an actor in the Shakespeare Company. In order to be able to continue working without any problems "in Europe" after Brexit, they applied for German citizenship some time ago. Just a few days ago, they were able to pick up their German passports at the Bürgeramt, with their stamp and signature, they finally became "real Germans".

And Carrington and Brown also have to stay in Germany, otherwise their work would be unthinkable – says Colin Brown. "Germans love self-irony! That's why we have so much success here. "When he seamlessly blends Haydn's national anthem into Helene Fischer's" Breathless through the Night "on his bagpipes, it is this same self-irony that leaves the audience applauding. The comedians have composed an operetta for Brexit in the last few months; it will be on display in southern Germany in May and in Berlin at the end of 2019. The Brexit is a disaster for the country, it says in the aria with the deliberately misspelled name "Turnadot" – a title that does not remind of Puccini by accident. "We're supposed to do Turandot," says Rebecca Carrington, "but because of Brexit, the whole production is still in England. Only we both made it – because we have a German passport. Now we have to go to the stage and play alone. "


As comedians, Carrington-Brown can at least take Brexit with humor. Anders Elisabeth Wexler and Enno Senft, who play in the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. The orchestra, founded by Claudio Abbado in London in 1981, needs absolute freedom of travel for its European tours, says Senft, who is the double bassist's voice guide. "Our instrument store is in London: double basses, timpani, trumpets, notes must be driven over for each tour. But we do not know if we will ever cross the border after Brexit. Nobody can tell us that. "In order to better respond to the uncertainties, the orchestra is currently setting up a second office in the German city of Kronberg. It is supervised by Andreas Richter. The Berlin cultural manager estimates that it will take about two years for the European music business to reorient itself after Brexit. During this time, British orchestras could be relegated to competition on the continent. "Of course other orchestras, other agencies, other artists will fill the squares. It's a tough competition. "

The comedy duo Rebecca Carrington and Colin Brown.Photo: Hans Ackermann

In addition to the economic and logistical problems, the Brexit is for the violinist Elisabeth Wexler above all a great human disappointment: "Our children have German passports and thus the luck to be European. As a Briton I will lose this European identity now. This is sad and makes me angry. "Even with a move of the orchestra to Germany, the musician couple from London will never abandon his British hometown. Eighty percent of Londoners voted against Brexit, she says, and Senft adds: "Nowhere has there been greater artistic freedom of movement than on the Thames, London is a paradise for freelance musicians, a country of its own. Ten million people live there. I like the way people interact with each other in music circles, collegially and kindly. I like the English, so I am so sad that this break is happening now and the country is so divided. It's just completely un-British. "

Baritone Benjamin Appl has been living in London for almost ten years. His apartment in London's South Kensington is not far from Heathrow Airport. From there he flies all over the world for his song programs. With a German passport, Appl can look forward to Brexit with some composure, his professional life is not threatened. Despair produces equally desperate acts from his fellow British singers. "There are colleagues who dig, if they have Irish ancestry. Others consider marrying a German to somehow get a European passport. You really notice how the fear goes around. "

Uncertainty, disappointment and sadness – these feelings are also familiar to the native Scottish Eleanor Forbes. She teaches singing as a professor in Dresden, her husband Stewart Emerson trains at the Berlin Academy of Music "Hanns Eisler" opera singer. Both have had German citizenship for years, but it is uncertain how their family members in England will continue: "My two nephews, for example, 17 and 20 years old: They live in London, the younger one wants to be double bassist, the older one studies computer science , Their future is not considered, they could not vote. It would therefore have to give a second referendum to get an opinion. And if it really does not go on, then you have to take back the article 50, so cancel the whole thing! "

Baritone Benjamin Appl.Photo: Hans Ackermann

In the field of classical music, Britons often had and hold leading positions in Berlin: Justin Doyle with the Rias Chamber Choir, Robin Ticciati with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester. Simon Halsey led the Berliner Rundfunkchor until 2015 – and then of course there is Simon Rattle, chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker until 2018. He now heads the London Symphony Orchestra, but continues to live in Berlin. In 2017, he described the Brexit as an "act of self-harm" and said: "I visited the London Symphony Orchestra the day after the Brexit vote, and some musicians cried."

To break off the whole thing, to stop Brexit: This desperate hope is heard again and again among British professors and musicians. If that does not succeed, says the conductor Andrew Manze, who works in Hanover, Brexit should simply be postponed again and again – "best until the end of my life!" Manze, who lives with his family in Sweden, now wants to get one Strive for "European citizenship". Because as a Briton one sees in Europe an uncertain future: "Great Britain is experiencing a very special moment now. There has never been such a decision. Although, of course, in the past, far-reaching decisions had to be made – for example, whether we go to war. But such decisions were imposed on the country from the outside. "With Brexit, however, the country itself adds a wound. "I do not think so many states have made such momentous decisions. Maybe we will look back later and see a country that has gotten itself into trouble without necessity. I hope others learn from it and do not make the same mistake. "