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Hans-Joachim Ketelsen Becomes Honorary Member of the Semperoper

The new titleholder will receive an official certificate from the intendant of Saxon State Opera.

By: Jan. 30, 2023
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Hans-Joachim Ketelsen Becomes Honorary Member of the Semperoper  Image

The Semperoper Dresden has appointed the Sächsischer Kammersänger (Saxon Chamber Singer) Hans-Joachim Ketelsen as its Honorary Member. After the performance of »La bohème« on Friday, 3 February 2023, in which the baritone will perform the role of Benoît, the new titleholder will receive an official certificate from the intendant of Saxon State Opera.

According to Peter Theiler, who will deliver the eulogy: »Hans-Joachim Ketelsen has been closely associated with Dresden State Opera, both artistically and personally, for almost 41 years. First as a long-standing ensemble member of the opera company and then as a guest performer, this wonderful singer has thrilled audiences worldwide with his fantastic voice and powerful stage presence. It's a special pleasure for me to offer Mr Ketelsen the title of Honorary Member as a sign of the Semperoper Dresden's great esteem and gratitude.«

From 1982 until the 2009/10 season, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen was a member of the Semperoper ensemble, where his roles included Jochanaan in »Salome«, Mandryka in »Arabella«, Orest in »Elektra«, Faninal in »Der Rosenkavalier«, Amfortas in »Parsifal«, Telramund in »Lohengrin«, Beckmesser in »Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg«, Don Fernando and Pizarro in »Fidelio« as well as many roles of the Italian repertoire. The baritone has also appeared regularly at the Bayreuth Festival, the state opera houses in Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna, as well as New York's Met, where the celebrated artist bid farewell to his international stage career in 2013 with a final guest performance.

In 1985 he received the title of Sächsischer Kammersänger, followed in 1996 by the »Theo Adam Prize« of the Semperoper Foundation. With his appointment as an Honorary Member of Dresden's opera house, Hans-Joachim Ketelsen now joins an illustrious list of names beginning with the first titleholder from 1867, Josef Tichatschek, and later including Theo Adam, Fritz Busch, Eleonore Elstermann, Christel Goltz, Senator h.c. Rudi Häussler, Ilse Ludwig, John Neumeier, Hans-Dieter Pflüger and Jutta Zoff.

To celebrate his naming as Honorary Member, the »Semper Bar« to be held at our Semper Zwei venue on 8 April 2023 will feature an artist portrait of Hans-Joachim Ketelsen. As part of the »Richard Strauss Days at the Semperoper«, this great interpreter of Strauss's music will give fascinating insights into his personal experiences with the composer's work - enlivened with anecdotes and entertaining stories from Ketelsen's lengthy career.


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