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The Opernchor Leipzig can look back on a history extending over more than 300 years. It was founded in 1693 by students in Leipzig, including Georg Philipp Telemann, who were interested in the newly emerging genre of opera. With the construction of the Leipzig Stadttheater at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the ensemble was transformed into a professional opera chorus and played a substantial role in the development of Romantic opera in Germany. Its interest in first performances and world premieres, which continues to the present, is likewise rooted in this era. At the beginning of the 1960s the Opernchor Leipzig began to gain a reputation for a style of realistic music theater under the direction of the opera director Joachim Herz. The interpretative skills of these singers were also appreciated by Ruth Berghaus, Andrea Breth, Achim Freyer, Peter Konwitschny, István Szabó, and George Tabori; Tabori’s vision of Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron in particular (1994) marked a highpoint of their work in recent decades. The roster of conductors for whom the Opernchor Leipzig has sung is also illustrious, including, in more recent times, such names as Kurt Masur, Václav Neumann, Lothar Zagrosek, Herbert Blomstedt, Riccardo Chailly, and Fabio Luisi. The Opernchor Leipzig has undertaken tours throughout Europe and to Israel and Asia. Since 2011 the Italian Alessandro Zuppardo, who was born in 1960, has served as choral director. He began his career at the Opera Festival of Macerata and at the Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, later moving to Oper Frankfurt and then Leipzig, where he remains currently engaged.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 13 September 2005 in works by Mendelssohn.