CATHERINE KUSTANCZY BERLIN
SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“It’s just one more flight!”

Jordan de Souza bounces up a steep set of stairs to his office at the Komische Oper Berlin, which overlooks the thoroughfare of Behrenstrasse, not far from the historic Brandenburg Gate. It’s a long way from de Souza’s home turf of Mississauga, the Toronto suburb where he and his seven siblings were raised by music-loving Indian parents.

De Souza, who turns 30 this year, is a ball of manic energy; he walks quickly and speaks with an unbridled enthusiasm for work and life, both of which have integrated in a way many classical artists can only dream of. He and his wife, soprano Jana Miller, moved to Berlin in 2016, where he is Kapellmeister (leader of orchestra) for the Komische Oper (Comic Opera). His daughter was born in Berlin in early 2017. His German is self-taught – absorbed, he says, mainly from reading. He cycles through the immense Tiergarten (a park running through central Berlin) from his home in Charlottenburg to work almost daily. “I was lucky to feel like I belonged here really quickly,” he says, settling into an immense office chair, “and it has a lot to do with this company.”