The Dresden Opera Chorus was founded on 8 October 1817 by royal proclamation. The issuing of this decree by Frederick Augustus I of Saxony can be largely attributed to the efforts of the recently engaged court Kapellmeister, Carl Maria von Weber, who was commissioned in that year to establish a German opera company to complement the Italian opera long performed in Dresden. Weber demanded the establishment of a »permanent theatre choir« able to meet the rising demands of the new opera repertoire.
Over the following decades and centuries, the Saxon State Opera Chorus developed into a first-class and highly sought-after ensemble thanks to the many outstanding figures who maintained its operatic roots while carefully nurturing its artistic development. The list of former directors includes Joseph Metzner, Wilhelm Fischer, Karl Maria Pembaur, Ernst Hintze, Gerhart Wüstner, Hans Peter Müller-Sybel, Hans-Dieter Pflüger and Matthias Brauer. They all cultivated the unique sound of the State Opera Chorus, a quality particularly influenced by the ensemble’s active concert schedule. An homogeneous and elegant tone, sensitive piano singing infused with a dense and rich timbre, these are the essential characteristics of the State Opera Chorus. Jörn Hinnerk Andresen was chorus director from 2014/15 to 2018/19. Jan Hoffmann assumed the post of acting director from the 2019/20 season.
Today the Saxon State Opera Chorus is regarded as one of Europe’s leading classical choirs. Its appearances on the operatic stage, its participation in concerts and radio, television or CD productions as well as its regular performances at festivals and on tour have earned it international recognition and the highest accolades.
Of particular significance was the collaboration with the conductor Giuseppe Sinopoli, who viewed the ensemble as still possessing untapped reserves. In numerous CD productions, the chorus time and again reached new artistic heights, which were consolidated in the years after Sinopoli’s sudden death by constant work.
As in all artistic endeavours of the Saxon State Opera in Dresden, the State Opera Chorus combines a strong sense of tradition and contemporary artistic responsibility with a desire to meet future challenges.
Since 2013 the State Opera Chorus, together with the Staatskapelle Dresden, has been a permanent guest at the Salzburg Easter Festival, whose artistic director is Christian Thielemann.
On 8 October 2017, the Saxon State Opera Chorus celebrated its 200th anniversary.
Sächsische Staatstheater – Semperoper Dresden
Choir board Gabriele Berke (chairwoman), Heike Wommelsdorff, Holger Steinert
Sächsische Staatstheater – Semperoper Dresden
Phone +49 351 4911 621
Fax +49 351 4911 453
Choirmaster André Kellinghaus
Deputy choirmaster Jonathan Becker
Chairwoman of the choir board Gabriele Berke
Members of the choir board Heike Wommelsdorff, Holger Steinert
Choir consultant Ingolf Stollberg-da Silva
Choir repetitor Christoph Heinig
Office Angela Schulze
Children’s Choir Claudia Sebastian-Bertsch
Sinfoniechor Dresden (Symphony Chorus) – the auxiliary choir of the Semperoper André Kellinghaus
Assistant to the choirmaster Christoph Heinig
Beate Apitz, Anke Aust, Gabriele Berke, Birgit Bonitz, Julia Buck, Maria Eberth, Gabi Falkenhagen, Katharina Flade, Petra Havránková, Linda Heins, Jana Hohlfeld, Min-Kyoung Kwon, Kira Tabacnik, Heike Wommelsdorff
Monika Harnisch, Elke Kaplon, Maria König, Cornelia Ludwig, Birgit Müller, Gundula Rosenkranz, Anna Schubert, Ute Siegmund, Juliane Zoddel
Anke Althoff, Annett Eckert, Rahel Haar, Barbara Leo, Heike Liebmann, Brynne McLeod, Christiane Neumann, Leonie Nowak, Sofiya Palamar, Anja Fidelia Ulrich
Andrea Albert, Cornelia Butz, Kristina Fuchs, Carolin Graßnick, Fumiko Hatayama, Claudia Mößner, Hyunduk Na, Kathrin Seidl, Heike Wiechmann
Michael Auenmüller, Michael Auenmüller, Jun-Seok Bang, Frank Blümel, Christof Bodenstein, Markus Hansel, Rafael Harnisch, Hyunkwang Jo, Ullrich Märker, Juan Carlos Navarro, Jörg Reißmann, Enrico Schubert, Zhi Yi
Fritz Feilhaber, Max Hebeis, Uwe Otto, Sie Hun Park, Alexander Schafft, Torsten Schäpan, Tobias Schrader, Jens Schuster, Ingolf Stollberg-da Silva
Matthias Beutlich, Friedrich Darge, Georg Finger, Andreas Heinze, Frank Höher, Norbert Klesse, Kevin Klötzer, Reinhold Schreyer-Morlock, Martin Schubert, Dirk Wolter
Markus Brühl, Alexander Födisch, Werner Harke, Falk Joost, Wooram Lim, Meinhardt Möbius, Thomas Müller, Hans-Ulrich Ohse, Holger Steinert, Mirko Tuma
Master of Music Choral Singing
In cooperation with the Semperoper, Dresden’s College of Music Carl Maria von Weber offers a master’s degree in choral singing. As part of the course, students enjoy a paid internship with the Semperoper’s State Opera Chorus.