The Theater der Stadt Leipzig (City of Leipzig Theater) was opened on August 26, 1817, under the direction the ambitious attorney and theater lover Karl Theodor Küstner. One can trace the origins of the permanent opera chorus to this day, an important moment in music history. The operas of the Baroque Era, as well as those of the entire 18thcentury, featured relatively small choruses. Historically, the chorus was used to represent the public, but it wasn’t until the 19thcentury that the chorus became a determining and powerful force in the plot. The chorus is the mirror of society, observing, commenting upon, and influencing events. Quite often, the chorus isn’t just a faceless crowd, but rather a group of very distinct individuals. The term choral soloist is, in fact, a rather accurate descriptor, and the Chorus of the Oper Leipzig is a perfect example. Not only is the opera’s chorus one of the best in the German-speaking world and a sought-after concert choir, but the individuals that make up the Chorus of the Oper Leipzig are a mixture of personalities whose expressiveness is most fully realized on the operatic stage.
In addition to the many choral operas featured in the 2016/17 season, the Chorus of the Oper Leipzig will celebrate its 200thanniversary with a gala concert, featuring the Gewandhaus Orchestra under the musical direction of Intendant and General Music Director Ulf Schirmer. This gala event will recognize important Leipzig composers such as Bach and Mendelssohn, but will also feature selections from the greatest choral classics such as Brahms’ A German Requiem or Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms. The program also includes a special look back at two hundred years of opera history.