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Sebastian Kohlhepp is currently one of the most successful young German tenors, highly sought after on the international opera and concert scene.


He achieved outstanding success in his much-acclaimed début as David in Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Salzburg Easter Festival in 2019 under the baton of Christian Thielemann. Kohlhepp will cover the same role in 2020 at the Semper Opera House in Dresden.


In recent years, Kohlhepp has been making himself a name as a well-versed Mozart tenor. He has sung Tamino at the Theater an der Wien (under René Jacobs), at Basel Theatre, and at the Vienna Volksoper; he sang his début as Belmonte at the Salzburg Mozart Week, and covered the role of Don Ottavio in Cologne. In the fall of 2019 he will guest as Ferrando in Così fan tutte (conducted by Ivor Bolton) at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam.


Sebastian Kohlhepp was born in Limburg an der Lahn, where he received his first musical training at the local boys’ choir. After his studies with Hedwig Fassbender in Frankfurt he became a member of Karlsruhe Opera.

For the 2013-2014 season he switched to the Staatsoper in Vienna, where he sang roles such as Jaquino (Fidelio) and Froh (Das Rheingold) under the baton of renowned conductors including Adam Fischer, Franz Welser-Möst, Dan Ettinger, Peter Schneider, Jeffrey Tate, and Patrick Lange.

From 2015 to 2017, Kohlhepp was a member of Stuttgart State Opera, where he appeared in a great number of lyrical tenor roles including Don Ottavio, Alfred, Oronte, Ferrando, and Lurcanio. He achieved particular success as Lucio Vero in Niccolò Jommelli’s Late Baroque Opera Il Vologeso (Berenice, Queen of Armenia), a production staged by Jossi Wieler and Sergio Morabito, singled out by Opernwelt magazine as “2015 Opera Rediscovery of the Year”.

In late 2017, Kohlhepp returned to Stuttgart State Opera as an invited guest and thrilled audiences and critics as Jason in Peter Konwitschny’s new staging of Cherubini’s Medea.


Sebastian Kohlhepp is likewise much in international demand as a concert soloist. In the summer of 2018 he made his Salzburg Festival début appearance in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony conducted by Teodor Currentzis. In December of the same year he performed for the first time in the US, honoring an invitation by Boston Symphony Orchestra and their chief conductor Andris Nelsons.


Kohlhepp makes regular appearances with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, the RIAS Chamber Choir (Berlin), Collegium Vocale Gent, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the NDR Choir, the Symphoniker Hamburg, the Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra, the Gaechinger Cantorey, and Stuttgart Chamber Choir, and with renowned conductors including René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe, Pablo Heras-Casado, Frieder Bernius, Sylvain Cambreling, François-Xavier Roth, Hans-Christoph Rademann, and Andreas Spering. He has been invited to perform in major venues such as Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, the Philharmonic Halls in Paris, Berlin and Cologne, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Tonhalle in Zurich, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, Shanghai Concert Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Rheingau and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festivals, and the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad.


Upcoming concert projects include Mozart’s Requiem conducted by Teodor Currentzis in Moscow, Paris, and Baden-Baden; Bach’s St Matthew Passion in Brussels, Luxembourg, Cologne and Barcelona conducted by Philippe Herreweghe; and Bach’s Mass in B Minor with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Andris Nelsons. A great number of CD, DVD and radio broadcast recordings put Sebastian Kohlhepp’s multifarious talents on display. He is prominently featured in Christoph Spering’s complete recording of the Bach Chorale Cantatas, which received the coveted German Echo Klassik Award. René Jacobs’s new recording of Bach`s St. John Passion (Harmonia Mundi), in which Kohlhepp sang the tenor arias, was distinguished with the ICMA Award in the Baroque Vocal category.


NDR Kultur Radio had the highest praise for Kohlhepp’s participation in the Gaechinger Cantorey’s new recording of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio released by Carus in 2017:


“Hans-Christoph Rademann has chosen Sebastian Kohlhepp to sing the important tenor part in the Christmas Oratorio: Kohlhepp has a gorgeous lyrical timbre, paired with a subtle sense of phrasing and interpretation. In the part of the Evangelist he narrates the Biblical Nativity story in a moderate tempo with the natural flow of spoken language; in the arias, he displays outstanding vocal technique. Few other colleagues are capable of successfully mastering the demanding coloraturas – with which Bach, for instance, depicts the shepherd’s ‘haste’ – as assuredly as Kohlhepp.”

(NDR Kultur, Marcus Stäbler, 15 Dec 2017)


2019/2020 season (Representation: General management)


Please only use this approved biography; no alteration or abridgement without the approval of ORFEO artist management


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