Hans-Joachim Ketelsen Named Honorary Member of The Semperoper Dresden

By Logan Martell

The Semperoper Dresden has announced the appointment of baritone Hans-Joachim Ketelsen as an Honorary Member.

The baritone will be presented an official certificate from the intendant of Saxon State Opera, following the Feb. 3 performance of “La bohème” where Ketelsen will play Benoit.

From 1982 to the 2009-10 season, Ketelsen performed extensively with the Semperoper ensemble, with roles such as Jochanaan in “Salome,” Mandryka in “Arabella,” Orest in “Elektra,” Amfortas in “Parsifal,” and more. A regular performer with the Bayretuh Festival, Ketelsen also sang at the Metropolitan Opera, where would bring his international career to a close with a farewell concert in 2013. In 1985, he was given the title of Sächsischer Kammersänger, and won the Semperoper Foundation’s Theo Adam Prize in 1996.

“Hans-Joachim Ketelsen has been closely associated with Dresden State Opera, both artistically and personally, for almost 41 years,” said Semperoper Dresden intentant Peter Theiler in a press release. “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.”

There will be an event to celebrate Ketelsen’s appoint on April 8 at the Semper Zwei venue, featuring an artist portrait of Ketelsen. Part of the “Richard Strauss Days at the Semperoper,” this event will see Ketelsen share anecdotes from his lengthy career and insights into his experience with the composer’s works.