Dresden, 11 March 2021. The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has also affected the Young Ensemble of the Saxon State Opera, who since last year have been unable to receive their usual training and support. In order to ensure the optimal development of these artists despite the continuing restrictions to Dresden’s cultural life, the temporary contracts of the ensemble members have been extended by six months. This means significantly increased costs for the Semperoper.
With a donation of 30,000 euros, the Semperoper Foundation (Stiftung Semperoper – Förderstiftung) is now ensuring optimal conditions for the Young Ensemble during this difficult time. »This was a spontaneous donation on our part,« says Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Grube, chairman of the council of the Semperoper Foundation. »Young artists are an asset of enormous importance and we are determined to ensure, as far as possible, the continued development of these performers.« This is also confirmed by Senator h.c. Rudi Häussler, who set up the foundation: »We have dedicated ourselves heart and soul to supporting the Semperoper. Especially in difficult times like these, we want to make the maximum effort.«
The Semperoper’s managing director, Peter Theiler, agrees that these funds are urgently needed to coach the young members of the ensemble. He says: »We thank the Semperoper Foundation from the bottom of our hearts for this donation. In such precarious times, it is particularly important that our young ensemble should not face disruption in their careers but continue to face new artistic challenges and enjoy the fullest support.«
Currently the Semperoper’s Young Ensemble consists of six singers and one pianist. The ongoing schedule of coaching is broadened by masterclasses and special concert formats run by the programme’s music director, Thomas Leo Cadenbach. The training modules are supplemented by physical training with the international lecturer and stage director John Norris as well as workshops on the Feldenkrais Method with the singer and voice teacher Gudrun Bär.
The Semperoper Foundation is dedicated to supporting the Semperoper Dresden. Founded in 1992 by Senator h. c. Rudi Häussler, donors have already raised around 15 million euros to help fund various projects at Dresden’s world-famous opera house. Since 2020, this work has been supported by Prof. Dr. Rüdiger Grube in his position as chairman of the foundation council, Dr. Christian Zwade as chairman of the board of trustees and Ulrike Lerchl as managing director. All of these three individuals have strongly supported the foundation’s endeavours for many years and carry in their hearts the same passion for the Semperoper as Rudi Häussler, the original driving force behind the foundation.
Photo: The Young Ensemble in the 2020/21 season © Radeberger/Toni Kretschmer