The Semperoper Children’s Choir is an integral part of the opera company and can be frequently enjoyed in a wide range of pieces, including Puccini’s »La bohème« and »Tosca«, Humperdinck’s »Hansel and Gretel«, Strauss’s »Der Rosenkavalier« and Verdi’s »Otello«. Primary schoolchildren (from their second year) rehearse here regularly in the full choir as well as in smaller ensembles while receiving dedicated instruction in singing and stage performance.
The history of the Children’s Choir goes back to the 1950s. Initially, the ensemble was led by choral directors of the Dresden State Opera such as Ernst Hintze, Gerhard Wüstner and Franz-Peter Müller-Sybel. Werner Kitz and Werner Czerny were followed in 1994 by Andreas Heinze, who directed the choir for twenty years. Since 2014, the Children’s Choir has been led by Dresden choral director Claudia Sebastian-Bertsch.
In addition to performances at the opera house, the choir is involved in Semper Zwei productions such as »Puss in Boots« by Caesar Cui or »Prinz Bussel« by Johannes Wulff-Woesten. The Children’s Choir of the Semperoper Dresden has also appeared several times in concert, such as in 2018 at the performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, conducted by Christian Thielemann. In addition to their demanding opera and concert programme, the children work together with their director on their own concert repertoire, consisting of folk song and madrigals, contemporary compositions as well as international songs. In the spring of 2019, a selection of this repertoire was recorded for CD release. In 2013, the Semperoper Children’s Choir was awarded the Semperoper Foundation Prize in recognition of its artistic achievements.
Duties and activities
Appearances in diverse productions on the Semperoper stage, singing and acting together with the adult colleagues of the State Opera Chorus, independent musical and scenic tasks, singing in foreign languages, small solo parts, performances in non-singing roles, as well as various concert appearances in and outside the opera house.
Regular musical training at weekly full-choir rehearsals as well as vocal group coaching and extra rehearsal sessions. Basic training in voice and music theory, staged rehearsals and full-scale dress rehearsals.
Interested girls and boys of school age who have a particular love of singing. A degree of musical aptitude is certainly desirable, as is some ability in reading scores and experience in playing an instrument. Other important requirements for every child are a good state of health, a high educational level in school and the discipline to sing in a choir.
Auditions for possible admission to the children’s choir take place in the months of May and June for the following season or the new school year.
Interested parents of schoolchildren of all ages should contact our administrative team at the Semperoper Dresden by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning 0351 49 11 621.
Sächsische Staatstheater – Semperoper Dresden
Director of the Children’s Choir Claudia Sebastian-Bertsch
Phone +49 351 49 11 621
Fax +49 351 4911 453
The Children’s Choir of the Semperoper Dresden has recorded its very own CD featuring the »Chorus of Urchins« from »Carmen«, the »Fairy Chorus« from »A Midsummer Night’s Dream«, the »Abendsegen« from »Hänsel und Gretel« as well as many other (children’s) choral works, contemporary compositions and international songs.