Oper Köln Chorus

The chorus of Cologne Opera has existed as a professional chorus for almost 200 years. The first and second conductors were responsible for conducting the chorus for one year each, usually in alternating order. It was only about 100 years ago that the position of chorus director was introduced; they are responsible for the rehearsals of the chorus. The great era of the chorus began with chorus director Peter Hammers, who led the ensemble from 1936 to 1948. He was followed by Heinz Kellers. In 1959 Hans Wolfgang Schmitz took over and made the chorus known beyond of Cologne through radio and television recordings, recordings and guest appearances. Hans Wolfgang Schmitz and his successor Albert Limbach were assisted for over 30 years (until 2006) by Horst Meinardus as deputy chorus director who, in this capacity, was independently responsible for preparing the chorus for certain operas. From 1992 to 2005 Albert Limbach was chorus director of the opera chorus. Among the numerous performances during his era, Luigi Nono's "Intolleranza" and Peter Ruzicka's "Celan" are particularly noteworthy. In 2005 he handed over his post to Andrew Ollivant. The wide-ranging repertoire and the regular performances of contemporary works show the high musical and tonal flexibility that the opera chorus has been able to develop under his direction. Rustam Samedov has been the chorus director of the opera chorus since the 2018.19 season. In 2020, the Cologne Opera Choir received the "Best Choir" award at the OPER! AWARDS.

Cologne Opera Chorus

Chorus Director

Assistant to Chorus Director

Alfred Chen | Bang-In Jung (In Elternzeit)

Chorus Inspection

Nataliia Korotkova


  • Soprano

  • Alto


  • Tenor

  • Bass