Georg Zeppenfeld – Biografie
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After completing his training as a music and German teacher, Georg Zeppenfeld went on to study concert and operatic singing at the Academies of Music in Detmold and Cologne, under the guidance of Professor Hans Sotin. After his first operatic engagements, which took him to the Municipal Theatre in Münster and to the Bonn Opera, he was engaged by the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden (Semperoper) in 2001 and has been a member of the ensemble ever since.
Performing with such renowned conductors as Myung-Whun Chung, Daniele Gatti, Fabio Luisi, Kent Nagano, Peter Schneider, Marcello Viotti, and Leif Segerstam, Zeppenfeld has been able to develop an extensive repertoire of predominantly serious bass roles from various periods and styles. Among them are Monteverdi’s Seneca/L’INCORONAZIONE DI POPPEA, and Mozart’s Sarastro, Commendatore, Figaro, Bartolo, and Don Alfonso, as well as Verdi’s Padre Guardiano/LA FORZA DEL DESTINO, Sparafucile/RIGOLETTO, Zaccaria/NABUCCO, Banquo/MACBETH, and Philipp II/DON CARLO, Wagner’s Fasolt/DAS RHEINGOLD, Veit Pogner/DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG, Landgraf Herrmann/TANNHÄUSER, Gurnemanz/PARSIFAL, König Heinrich/LOHENGRIN, and König Marke/TRISTAN UND ISOLDE, Mussorgsky’s Pimen/BORIS GODUNOV, and Dvořák’s Water Sprite/RUSALKA.
Guest appearances have taken him to the leading opera houses of Germany, such as Hamburg, Berlin and Munich, and to international music centers including Amsterdam, Antwerp, Luxemburg, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris and Vienna as well as New York, San Francisco, Chicago, and more. He made his debut in 2010 at the Bayreuther Festspiele in the role of König Heinrich/LOHENGRIN and returned in 2011 as Veit Pogner/DIE MEISTERSINGER VON NÜRNBERG (recorded with the BSO under the baton of Marek Janowski). After his debut in the role of Philebos/DER KÖNIG KANDAULES in 2002, he has regularly appeared at the Salzburg Festival in operatic, lied, and oratorio performances alike. In summer 2012, he returned to Salzburg as Sarastro in a new production of DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. At the Glyndebourne Festival, Zeppenfeld appeared in the role of König Marke. In 2005, he sang Sarastro in a new production at the Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; in 2007, he made his triumphant U.S. debut at the San Francisco Opera House in the same role, which he also sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2009 and at the Wiener Staatsoper in 2011.
Among his recent highlights are his debut at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, where he sang König Heinrich in a new production of Richard Wagner’s LOHENGRIN, as well as guest performances at La Scala di Milano in the role of Commendatore/DON GIOVANNI, followed by Landgraf Herrmann/TANNHÄUSER.
Highlights of the 2011/12 season include Peneios in Vienna, Sarastro in Munich, Barcelona and at the Salzburger Festspiele as well as Gurnemanz in Lyon, and others.
The 2012/13 season takes him to Antwerp, Gent and Luxembug in the role of Gurnemanz, and to Hamburg as Landgraf Hermann and König Heinrich. In Dresden, Georg Zeppenfeld will appear in his major role of Sarastro as well as in the roles of Rocco/FIDELIO, Daland/DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER and Zoroastro in Händel‘s ORLANDO.
In addition to his operatic engagements, Georg Zeppenfeld also pursues an active international career as a concert singer. In particular, the works of Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven as well as the great late Romantic oratorios have given him the opportunity to sing in many of Europe’s leading concert venues.
Recent engagements include concerts with the Munich Philharmonic as well as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Christian Thielemann, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Pierre Boulez, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under Riccardo Chailly, Concentus Musicus Wien under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Filarmonica della Scala under Kurt Masur, Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Orchestre National de France, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden and other leading orchestras which allowed him to expand his stylistic spectrum and by that to accentuate his immense vocal versatility. In Summer 2012, Zeppenfeld sang Beethoven‘s 9TH SYMPHONY with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham, at the Lucerne Festival and the Beethovenfest in Bonn; in November 2012 he returned to his University in Detmold for a recital.
Georg Zeppenfeld has participated in numerous radio and TV productions and many CD recordings. He sang in the Memorial Day performance of Verdi’s REQUIEM under Daniele Gatti on the 60th anniversary of the destruction of Dresden, which was televised by ARTE and released on DVD. His artistic achievements are documented on CD and DVD recordings for Deutsche Grammophon, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Oehms classics, and Unitel, as well as radio and TV productions for major German broadcasting corporations.