Ever since Volker Adler completed his training in public administration, life has repeatedly led him to new challenges, which he always turned into new opportunities. For almost two decades he was involved in the management, development and repositioning of private theaters all over Germany. In his early 20s, he was instrumental in establishing the GOP Varieté Group in Germany, laying the organizational and business foundation for the theater group’s development.
In his 30s, Volker was managing partner of the Chamäleon Theater in Berlin and presented international productions such as “Loft” by the artist collective Les 7 Doigts de la main from Montréal, Canada, as well as the collective’s second production “Traces”, which later became a hit Off-Broadway and “Wunderkammer” by the Australian company Circa. He, too, developed new original work in the field of new circus and theater for the international market. His productions “SOAP – The Show” and “LEO”, for example, were successfully launched at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh and subsequently performed successfully worldwide for many years, both still performing today.
Volker’s experiences in the development and launch of new works in the international commercial entertainment market confronted him with the creative industries core challenge: how to provide financing for a market, that is widely based upon intangible assets and an often high risk / high return profil? Bridging the gap between the financial and the creative sector, researching market data and underlying business structures in order to enhance development in the international creative industry, became his passion.
He shared his knowledge as a mentor and management consultant for the Climate Education GmbH in Hamburg in their roll-out of the Bremerhaven-based climate exhibition “Klimahaus 8 Grad Ost” as well as for the 7th Global Social Business Summit with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus in Berlin, among others.
In recent years he ventured into the real estate sector with a focus on re-thinking how real estate will be developed and used in the future as well as the construction industries impact on climate change and human health. As someone who taught himself many trades in the construction sector, and combines this constructive understanding with deep insights into social and structural developments, Volker now brings together experts from a wide range of disciplines to rethink, initiate and develop real estate projects holistically.
With WAVE ONE, Volker is providing a platform for projects in the international creative industries that is deeply shaped by his insights he gained over the past 30 years.
GOP Group, 1994 to 2003
Along with the theater’s director, Werner Buss, Volker Adler developed the parent house of today’s GOP Group from 1994 onwards and laid the structural and business management foundations over a period of 10 years. The overwhelming success of the main house in Hanover, which is still unbroken today, led to the opening of the other locations, where the concept was replicated.
In addition to his responsibility for the organizational operation of the main house, Volker Adler has created the group’s legal framework for the artists’ engagement, and developed structures like an in-house ticketing and quality management system. Today, the GOP Group is the largest employer of artists in the world, after Cirque du Soleil.
Chamäleon Theater Berlin, 2004 to 2012
Volker Adler took over the Chamäleon Theater Berlin in 2004 out of an insolvency as managing director. After a comprehensive reorganization of the theater, he re-established the theater within a few years as an economically successful and for Berlin significant venue.
In addition to presenting internationally successful productions such as “Loft” or “Wunderkammer”, it was in particular the shows he produced himself, such as “SOAP – The Show” and “myLIFE”, that laid the foundation for the long-term success of the theater, which remains an icon in Berlin’s cultural landscape today. With his productions, which were created in Montréal and Berlin, Volker Adler initiated the renewal of circus arts in Germany.
LOFT by The 7 Fingers, 2005
The 7 Fingers are an artist collective from Montréal, that is second to none. In 2002, the 7 founders Shana, Isabelle, Patrick, Faon, Sébastien, Gypsy, and Samuel set out to redefine the circus by reducing the spectacle to its exciting essence. Loft, the collective’s first creation, brought the former Cirque du Soleil artists to the stage along with DJ Pocket.
In 2005, Volker Adler presented this unique production of cutting-edge circus arts, intimate theater, dynamic avant-garde dance and indy soundtrack at the Chamäleon Theater in Berlin. Originally scheduled for a three-month run, the show was extended for an additional 5 months, being one of the theater’s most successful productions and the only presentation of the Loft in Germany.
Traces by The 7 Fingers, 2006
The show Loft of the 7 Fingers was the beginning of a great circus company, which today inspires audiences worldwide with a wide variety of productions. Volker Adler believed in the collectives second creation, and presented this straight out of the rehearsal room’s show Traces that offers surprise, awe and delight at every turn.
Following a three-month successful run in Berlin, Traces conquered world stages in the years that followed, including a two-year run at Union Square Theater Off-Broadway in New York City. Explosive acrobatics, music, dance, spoken word, song, illustration, Traces blends circus arts with street art and aesthetics, and raises the question, how would you leave your mark if the clock was ticking?
SOAP – The Show, 2007
With his first production in 2007 as executive producer, Volker Adler has brought SOAP – The Show, an extraordinary production in the truest sense, to the stage. SOAP – The Show brings the bathroom to the stage and combines acrobatics with bathtubs.
The directors Markus Pabst and Maximilian Rambaek have created with this show a wide range of splashy, water-soaked acts from contortion to trapeze to handstand acrobatics. With an extravagant soundtrack and SOAP’s own live opera singer, the spectacle has already captured the hearts of 1.5 million viewers worldwide. SOAP – The Show has played on all continents and important markets of this earth and is still presented today under the name WET by the GOP Group.
Following his success with SOAP – The Show, Volker Adler produced his second original production titled myLIFE with his creative Producer Gregg Parks and a creative team in Berlin. Directed by Canadian Randy Glynn and choreography by Shannon Cooney, it was a work that built on the special talents of the artists and was created in a collaborative process by all involved within two months.
Staged as a center stage production, myLIFE thrilled audiences 360 degrees and completed a successful 12-month season at the Chamäleon Theater in Berlin. myLIFE also gave birth to the act Wallclown by the Artist Tobias Wegner. The act Wallclown laid the foundation for the successful production LEO, which still tours internationally today.
Production Versus, 2010
Volker Adler has produced the original artistic show VERSUS for the Chamäleon Theater in Berlin. VERSUS thrilled its audience from day one and successfully finished it’s 10 months season, performing over 300 shows.
With VERSUS, director Markus Pabst masterfully stages a clash of opposites by translating emotions into breathtaking acrobatic images. A furious show about the encounter of two worlds, plays with perspectives in both the figurative and literal sense, because the world have their very own laws. In a rousing choreography, expressive aerial performances contrast with energetic acrobatics on the floor and on the Chinese pole. Eight extraordinary performers present an impressive spectrum of artistic skills.
Wunderkammer by C!RCA, 2011
The circus company C!RCA from Australia develops original artistic work, among them the sexy, funny and explosive cabaret-style show Wunderkammer. While usually being presented in public theaters, Volker booked the show within minutes, and he was convinced that it would work well in a commercial place like the Chamäleon in Berlin.
In Wunderkammer, C!RCA presents a breathless cocktail of new circus and cabaret. Control and abandon, skill and humor, lyricism and anarchy merge into a sinuous fugue of profound beauty. The show has completed a successful season of over 8 months at Berlin’s Chamäleon Theater. Today, Circa is a fixture in new circus around the world when it comes to innovative new formats.
Production LEO, 2011
The acrobat Tobias Wegner has developed his 20 minutes act Wallclown in which two realities exist simultaneously: a tilted stage set with the acrobat in action and a deceptively real “re-erected” live projection of his performance.
Volker Adler recognized a larger potential in the piece and over a total of two years, the Wallclown was turned into the one-hour production LEO. Launched at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh in 2011, LEO caused a sensation and won awards. LEO is a startling, funny, surreal and surprisingly moving work that challenges the senses and tests perceptions of reality through the clever interplay of live performance and video projection. For over 10 years, LEO has been thrilling audiences worldwide with no end in sight.
Global Social Business Summit, 2015
In 2015, Volker Adler supported his long-term colleague Hans Reitz in strategic matters of his four businesses, among them the Grameen Creative Lab in Wiesbaden. The consultancy work for the Grameen Creative Lab included the first-time commercial organization and promotion of the 7th Global Social Business Summit in Berlin.
The Global Social Business Summit is the worldwide leading forum for social business, non-loss, non-dividend companies with a social goal. The annual event is organized by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Creative Lab, and gathers experts from the private sector, civil society, governments and academia over a few days of meetings, forums, and workshops.
Klimahaus Bremerhaven, 2016
Dr. Carlo Petri is the concept developer of Klimahaus 8 Grad Ost in Bremerhaven, a scientific exhibition which was opened in 2009 by Bob Geldorf. Since its opening, about 600,000 visitors a year visited the exhibition. The approximately 18,800 m² knowledge and experience world, for which a separate, distinctive building was constructed at a cost of 70 million euros, addresses the topic of climate and climate change in three exhibition areas.
Based on the success of the Klimahaus in Bremerhaven, Dr. Petri founded Climate Education GmbH to implement the concept at other locations and in other formats. Volker Adler accompanied the company’s foundation and supported Dr. Petri in the product planning, intellectual property rights, business development and company financing.
Hotel Portfolio Austrian Alps, 2018
Volker Adler, in cooperation with Gabriele von Ramin and Prinz Karl Thurn und Taxis Management AG, has developed a special kind of hotel portfolio in the breathtaking natural landscape of the Austrian Alps – Austria’s most important tourism region – that is in line with the zeitgeist around sustainable tourism. The Alps are an important European focal point for biological and cultural diversity.
In doing so, the project partners, together with local experts, have secured the acquisition of eight unique holiday hotel properties in the 4* and 4* Superior categories at prime evergreen locations. The hotel portfolio, with over 60,000 square meters of gross floor area, 806 rooms and 1,785 beds, is worth approximately EUR 150 million. Investments in such properties are stable in value over generations.