Kobie van Rensburg
Kobie van Rensburg began his vocal studies with Prof. Werner Nel whilst taking his graduate and post-graduate degrees in Law and International Politics at the Northwest University of South Africa. He made his professional debut at the age of twenty, singing Belmonte in Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail for the Roodepoort City Opera in 1991. This was followed by engagements as Fenton (Falstaff) in Durban, Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni) and Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte) in Capetown. After winning several competitions and prizes as well as the Concert section of the 1994 UNISA International Singing competition, he left for Munich for further studies with Prof. Hanno Blaschke.
He was immediately engaged as soloist in the Studio program of the Bavarian State Opera and shortly afterwards accepted a contract at Munich’s Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, where he remained until 2005. He makes regular guest appearances at other major European opera houses including the Staastoper Berlin, Bayerische Staatsoper Munich, Stuttgart Staatsoper, Théâtre du Châtelet and Théâtre du Champs-Elysées Paris, Thèâtre du Capitole Toulouse, Operá National de Montpellier, Operá National du Rhin Strasbourg, Opera de Bordeaux and Teatro Saõ Carlos in Lisbon as well as opera houses in Geneva, Madrid, Basel, Luzern, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Graz and Halle. His operatic repertoire covers a wide range of over 30 leading roles, including the early operas of Monteverdi (Orfeo in L’Orfeo and Nerone in L’Incoronazione di Poppea), the Baroque operas of Händel (Acis in Acis & Galatea, Bajazete in Tamerlano, Jupiter in Semele, Giuliano in Rodrigo), the major Mozartian tenor roles (Idomeneo, Tito, Ferrando, Tamino, Belmonte, Don Ottavio and Belfiore), Fenton in Falstaff, Der Junge Seemann in Tristan und Isolde and several comic operas and operettas (Lorzing`s Zar und Zimmerman and Alfred in Die Fledermaus).
Although his concert repertoire ranges from music of the Renaissance to world premieres of contemporary works, he specializes in music of the Baroque era. He is a frequent guest at the festivals of Salzburg, Luzern, Schwetzingen, Karlsruhe Händel Festival, Schleswig-Holstein, Halle Händel Festival, and the Innsbruck Early Music Festival. Recitals and concert appearances have taken him all over Europe and to the USA, Cairo and Buenos Aires (Teatro Colon). He performs regularly with René Jacobs and Concerto Vocale, the Akademie für Alte Musik, Concerto Köln, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists and Monteverdi Choir, Ivor Bolton and the Freiburger Barock, Thomas Hengelbrock and the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble, Christopher Hogwood and the Academy of Ancient Music, Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, Jean Claude Malgoire and La Grande Ecurie et la Chambre du Roy, as well as Bruno Weil, Lorin Maazel and Sir Jeffrey Tate.
The world premiere of his own baroque Pasticcio opera, Ein Theater nach der Mode, was staged in Munich in June 2002. Having devised a new plot, he wrote the libretto together with Peer Boysen, and created a new opera to music by Händel and other baroque composers as a commissioned work for Munich’s Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz.
The success of his debut solo CD recording with the Lautten Compagney, entitled Händel’s Beard with famous Handelian tenor arias composed for John Beard, was followed by the release of his second recital CD, featuring music by Dowland, Lawes and Purcell, Songs of an English Cavalier. The release of his third solo album with the Lautten Compagney, Il Pianto d`Orfeo and comprising music by Monteverdi, Caccini, Peri and Charpentier was released on the NCA Label in December 2004. Under the direction of René Jacobs, Kobie van Rensburg has recorded a much praised recording of Monteverdi’s Madrigali Guerierri et Amorosi, an acclaimed world premiere recording of Scarlatti’s Griselda, the Grammy Award winning recording of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, all released by Harmonia Mundi, and Der Fliegender Hollaender conducted by Bruno Weil on original instruments in which he sings the role of Steuermann.
Recent performances include Idomeneo and Rodelinda at the Metropolitan Opera New York, the title role of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo at the Stuttgart State Opera in a production by Joachim Schlömer, conducted by Jean Claude Malgoire, Quint in Britten's Turn of the Screw with Sir Jeffrey Tate and Nerone (Poppea) in Geneva, Die Zauberflöte in Toulouse, Ferrandini's Catone in Utica for the 250th anniversary of Munich's Cuvilliers Theatre (released on a live CD recording), Händel’s Messiah with René Jacobs and Freiburger Barock (recorded by Harmonia Mundi), a staged version of Händel's Belshazar in Brussels with René Jacobs and Il Fondamento, productions of Idomeneo in Nice and Munich, Creonte in Traetta’s Antigona with Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyrique in Paris and Montpellier, Ariodante with Harry Bicket at the Bayeriche Staatsoper Munich, La Clemenza di Tito at the Wiener Volksoper and Ariodante for San Francisco Opera conducted by Roy Goodman.
His current plans include Idomeneo in Strasbourg, Bordeaux, and Madrid, Loge (Das Rehingold) for Seattle Opera, Rossini Armida for the Metropolitan Opera New York, Handel Il trionfo de Il Tempo e del Disinganno and Monteverdi Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria at the Teatro Real Madrid, Cavalli La Calisto for the Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and Il Pianto d’Orfeo in Vigo (Spain), Bregenz, Munich and Vienna. He also sings the title role and directs his own production of Monteverdi Orfeo in Halle. Concert performances include Haydn The Season at the Philharmonie Berlin with Andrew Manze, The Dream of Gerontius with the MittelDeutscherRundfunk and Messiah with the Residentie Orkest at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.
24 November 2009