Studio Nohara

Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin


"I wanted to prove a choir could be a precise, shapeable artistic instrument with a unique, unmistakable sound just like an orchestra." Walter Hagen-Groll began his tenure as Choir Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin with this purpose in mind in 1961. More than a quarter of a century later - he had been appointed Choir Director of the Vienna State Opera - he left his successor with the best German if not the world's best opera choir.
The Berlin newspaper "Tagesspiegel" for example wrote in a review of a performance of Guiseppe Verdi's Nabucco: "Centre of the performance: Walter Hagen-Groll's choir... Everyone knows a collective of skilled, selected voices can sound thunderous. But the opposite of the vocal show of strength reveals the actual art: the many-voiced precise piano and pianissimo. And this artistry is the strength of Hagen-Groll's choirs." (Sybill Mahlke)

(...) Its consistently high artistic standard was continued regardless of conductor and artistic director changes over the years and today the choir looks back on a more than forty-five year history of excellence. Götz Friedrich, long-time Principal Artistic Director of the Deutsche Oper Berlin certified his opera's choir had an "extrem stilistic variety, which it gives proof of nearly every night with a standard of highest musical and scenic quality."

Renowned choir directors and conductors have led the ensemble of the Opera Choir of the Deutsche Opera Berlin. Marcus Creed and Karl Kamper should also be mentioned alongside Walter Hagen-Groll. Ulrich Paetzoldt has led the choir since the 2000/2001 season. Hellwart Matthiesen, long-time Deputy Choir Director has been a vital part of the ensemble's success over many years.

In addition to guest performances that have taken the choir around the world and concerts in the prestigious concert halls of Berlin, numerous CD recordings and DVD productions document the choirs performance. Thus Karl Orff's master work Carmina Burana was for example recorded with Christian Thielemann for the Deutsche Grammophon. The Choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin is one of the greatest opera choirs in the world today. (...)
(Text: Deutsche Oper Berlin)