Leipzig Opera’s children’s choir has been in existence as an in-house children’s chorus since 1990 and is an integral part of child and youth development in the Department of Education. Up until this point, as the permanent guest chorus, the Singschule des Musikunterrichtskabinetts der Stadt Leipzig (Singing School of the Conservatory of the City of Leipzig) had taken the children’s roles in the opera and Musical Comedy Theatre.The choir was directed by the church musicianand opera singer Anne-Kristin Paul-Mai.
In 2005, Sophie Bauer took over the children’s choir. In 2007 /08, a youth chorus was also founded at Leipzig Opera on her initiative. Currently, 220 children, adolescents and young adults aged between four and 25 sing at the opera. In age-specific groups (Opernmäuse (opera mice), beginner’s children’s choir, intermediate children’s choir, advanced children’s choir), participants receive extensive training in singing and music theory as well as practical stage training. Since the 2008/09 season, the chorus has also cooperated with the Hochschule für Musik und Theater “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Leipzig (Leipzig’s Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy College of Music and Theatre). Prospective singing tutors provide the children with voice training in small groups. Through this continuous and consistent training of young people, Leipzig Opera’s children’s choir is currently one of the best children’s opera choirs in Germany. The objective and focus the children’s choir’s work is participating in current opera productions in Leipzig such as Tosca, La Bohème, Parsifal and Hansel and Gretel.
The children and adolescents also have the opportunity to develop stand-alone performances. In recent years, their projects include Das Wesentliche ist unsichtbar (What Is Essential Is Invisible), Was wäre wenn … (What If …) and the integrative children’s project Monsieur Mathieu, was wird ? (Monsieur Mathieu, what will be?), which was funded by the PwC Foundation and awarded the German Music Council’s Junge-Ohren-Preis (“Young Ears” Prize). In the 2010 /11 season, Leipzig Opera’s children’s choir staged an independent new opera production for the first time with The Arabian Princess. This was followed by a new production of the children’s opera Pinocchio a year later and Aladdin and the Magic Lamp will première in 2014/15.
Leipzig Opera children’s choir is under the patronage of Juliane Kirchner-Jung.
The youth chorus provides support for the opera ensemble. However, it also has its own repertoire (Waldrandgeflüster (Rustling Around the Forest), Häxan and Magnificat by C. P. E. Bach) and, for many young people, it is an important transition to their professional career as a musician. In 2014, for the first time, the youth chorus staged a Christmas concert together with the Musical Comedy Theatre Orchestra.