nter Papendell

Soloist - Baritone
© Jan Windszus Photography
© Jan Windszus Photography
In the ensemble of the Komische Oper Berlin since 2007.

Krefeld, grew up in Augsburg

Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln, Hochschule für Musik und Theater München (u. a. Daphne Evangelatos, Helmut Deutsch)

ARD-Musik-Wettbewerb, Willi-Domgraff-Fassbaender-Wettbewerb, Internationaler Hans-Gabor-Belvedere-Gesangswettbewerb

Rudolf Piernay, Malcolm Martineau u. a.

Marcello Viotti

Sebastian Baumgarten, Andreas Homoki, Immo Karaman, Nicolas Stemann, Christian Pöppelreiter, Calixto Bieito, Barrie Kosky, Herbert Fritsch

Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen

Doktor Malatesta (Don Pasquale), Graf Almaviva (Die Hochzeit des Figaro), Fritz Kothner (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg), Fürst Jeletzki (Pique Dame), Sharpless (Madame Butterfly), Ottokar, Titelpartien in Don Giovanni und Odysseus, Marcel (La Bohème), Achilla (Giulio Cesare in Egitto), Pollux (Castor et Pollux)

Figaro (Die Hochzeit des Figaro), Germont (La traviata), Don Giovanni, Escamillo (Carmen), Guillaume Tell (Wilhelm Tell), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Zurga (Les Pêcheurs des perles), Octave (Avatar), Förster (Das schlaue Füchslein)

Bayerische Staatsoper, Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Nationaltheater Weimar, Aalto-Musiktheater Essen, Theater Dortmund, Theater Bonn, Staatstheater Nürnberg, Theater Bremen u. a.

Frank/Fritz (Die tote Stadt), Marcello (La Bohème), Leander (Die Liebe zu drei Orangen)
Singing is part of everyday life – for Günter Papendell, that has gone without saying ever since his childhood. He grew up with a father who, when he wasn’t working as a singer in the opera chorus of the Theater Augsburg, was working a second job as a tradesman. And without the culinary art of Mrs Papendell – the surrogate mother for many generations of Augsburger Domsingknaben – the local boys’ choir would probably never have reached such heights. 

Despite his background in the boys’ choir, becoming a singer was never on his wish list at all. If anything, he wanted to be a pianist. Not many people know what a fantastic pianist is hidden inside the popular baritone. In the end, it was his singing teacher Tobias Meisberger who took Günter Papendell’s voice into new territory – away from the finely chiselled timbre of a choirboy to a powerful, warm baritone, fit for the big stage.

It was no less than the world-famous pianist and accompanist Helmut Deutsch who gave Günter the important tip: »don’t just pay attention to how you sing, but also what you sing!« A Grimme-Prize-winning actress agreed completely, and became a very important person for Papendell, not just on his path to becoming an opera singer: »my wife Stefanie made me realise that it’s the content of what you sing that guides the music.« Papendell strongly recommends watching actors while they work – regardless of the genre, Tatort will do the job. Perhaps that’s why, along with Barrie Kosky, it’s directors with a background in acting that Papendell names as having been particularly important for his development. Papendell is one of those singers who complain when they don’t have to be at a rehearsal. »I think it’s important to know what’s happening in a scene, even if I’m not singing in it. I need to know how my character develops over the progression of a piece!« That’s why he talks about directors like Nicolas Stemann with so much admiration. In his work on Mozart’s Don Giovanni, with his extremely physically demanding working method, director Herbert Fritsch – originally himself an actor in Frank Castorf’s ensemble – had the entire vocal ensemble in a sweat. But in Günter Papendell he found a kindred spirit who was always happy to go one step further than what was being asked of them, which was already pushing things to the limit.

From his first Count Almaviva in Barrie Kosky’s The Marriage of Figaro through to Don Giovanni in the production by Fritsch, this boyish singer has been making his mark on the profile of the Komische Oper Berlin for nearly a decade now. Of course in order to stay healthy in body, mind and spirit, you need a balance. For honing the bodily perception he needs, Papendell swears by Feldenkreis training. In aikido, it’s the combination of mental focus with a very physical form of martial arts that he values. But what really gives him a workout is kicking a ball around on the football pitch with his young son. His family has always been an important source of strength. The theatre life, often viewed as being not particularly family friendly, certainly doesn’t seem to be scaring off the next generation at all. Papendell’s daughter has been a member of the Komische Oper children’s choir for some time, and now she’s got a taste of the stage. Barrie Kosky had no idea who he was discovering for his next production in the car park out the front of the theatre. But now she’s enthralling audiences as Tevje and Golde’s little daughter Sprintze in the celebrated production of Anatevka. And now for once, it’s Dad who gets to stand in the wings, looking on in admiration …

Zur Kritik


His performances ...

Thu17.10.19:00The Bassarids
Sun20.10.18:00The Bassarids
Sat02.11.19:00The Bassarids
Tue05.11.19:00The Bassarids
Sun10.11.18:00The Bassarids
Sun01.12.18:00La traviata
Sat07.12.19:30La traviata
Fri13.12.19:30La traviata
Fri20.12.19:30La traviata
Fri10.01.19:30La traviata
Sat01.02.19:30La traviata
Wed12.02.19:30La traviata
Thu20.02.19:30Don Giovanni
Sat29.02.19:30Don Giovanni
Wed11.03.19:30Don Giovanni
Fri27.03.19:30Don Giovanni
Wed01.04.19:30Don Giovanni
Fri26.06.19:00The Bassarids
Wed01.07.19:30La traviata
Sat04.07.19:30La traviata