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Kobie van Rensburg – started his vocal studies with Prof. Werner Nel while studying for graduate and post-graduate degrees in Law and International Politics, obtaining both cum laude, at the  Northwest University of South Africa. The lyric tenor made his professional debut at the early age of twenty, singing Belmonte in Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail for the Roodepoort City Opera in 1991, quickly followed by engagements at the opera houses of Capetown, Durban and Pretoria.
After winning the concert section of the 1994 UNISA International Singing competition, he joined the studio of the Bavarian State Opera and shortly afterwards Munich’s Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz. Regular guest engagements at such renowned opera houses as the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Berlin-, Munich-, and Stuttgart State Theatres, San Francisco, Seattle, the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Vienna Volksoper, Opéra National du Rhin, Opéra National de Montpellier, the Teatro Sao Carlos in Lissabon and Teatro Real in Madrid soon followed.  His operatic repertoire of more than 50 leading roles, ranged from the early operas by Monteverdi to Wagner and several world premieres of modern pieces, but his main focus was on repertoire of the 17th and 18th century and historically informed performance practice. He regularly collaborated with conductors such as René Jacobs, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Christopher Hogwood, Christophe Rousset, Jean Claude Malgoire, Ivor Bolton, Bruno Weil, Lorin Maazel, Sir Geoffrey Tate und James Levine. He recorded several prizewinning CD’s (Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording and Gramophone Record of The Year Award) and Live DVD Recordings of Monteverdi, Händel, Mozart, and Rossini Operas.
In 2007 he made his debut as stage director with an acclaimed production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo for the Halle Opera house in collaboration with the Halle Händel Festival. Productions of various operas in Germany, Austria, South Africa and Switzerland followed, allowing him to develop a unique visual style, incorporating dramaturgical videography and multimedia elements such as interactive, animated translations and 3D graphics as part of the set. His most recent productions include a celebrated Monteverdi Trilogy for the Landestheater Niederbayern in Passau, Händel’s La Resurrezione for the Halle Händel Festival and RadialsystemV in Berlin, Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni and Barbiere di Siviglia for Theater Krefeld-Mönchengladbach, Rossini’s Cenerentola in Chemnitz and Mozart’s Zauberflöte and Händel’s Ariodante in Münster.
He cultivates a special interest in the creation of pastiche operas: His baroque farce, Ein Theater nach der Mode for the Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz, created with Peer Boysen, was recorded for broadcast by the Bayerische Runkfunk and was revived for four seasons, while his 17th century drama, Il Pianto d’Orfeo, created for RadialSystemV in Berlin, was also revived at the Festspielhaus St. Pölten in Austria.
He regularly teaches masterclasses in singing and historically informed performance practice in Germany, Austria and South Africa. Between 2003 and 2010 he was a Guest Professor of Music at the Northwest University in Potchefstroom, where he also chaired the 2nd International Singing Symposium and directed a student production of his 17th century pastiche opera, Tirsi, Clori et Fileno. In 2010 he founded the Early Music Forum Africa and in cooperation with the NWU produced and directed the first South African production of a Handel opera (Acis and Galatea) with period instruments. He is deeply committed to the development of opera in South Africa, especially in underprivileged communities and serves as Director of the Umculo Opera Incubator since 2015.



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