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The Balthasar Neumann Choir, whose repertoire ranges from the early Baroque to modern music, was founded in 1991 by Thomas Hengelbrock. Its members are professional singers who also appear as soloists in their performances. Their dramaturgically sophisticated productions combine rarities by such composers as Antonio Lotti and Jan Dismas Zelenka with well-known works of the repertoire. The Choir has also made a name for genre-crossing and staged productions: the singers have collaborated closely with the actors Klaus Maria Brandauer and Johanna Wokalek to create numerous musical-literary projects. The Balthasar Neumann Choir regularly performs on the opera stage in productions at the Schwetzingen Festival and the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden. Among the most successful works in its repertoire is Pina Bausch’s staging of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice, which was premiered at the Opéra National de Paris in 2005 and was also shown in New York in 2012. The singers appeared at the Salzburg Festival in 2015 in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, which was staged and conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock. The Choir opened the 2016-17 season with a focus on Felix Mendelssohn: together with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, it performed his oratorio Elijah and, during Advent, concerts with Christmas-related works by the composer. In February 2017 they gave six performances of Monteverdi’s Selva morale e spirituale in Spain under Pablo Heras-Casado. In April the ensemble will prepare a Schubert-Mozart program with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, and in June they will tour to the Dresden Music Festival with Beethoven’s Leonore under Ivor Bolton. The Balthasar Neumann Choir received the Culture Prize of the State of Baden-Württemberg in 2005.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 19 March 1997 in works by Antonio Lotti and Emanuele Rincon d’Astorga under Thomas Hengelbrock.