Ralf Popken enjoys a varied career. After study at the Hanover Hochschule für Musik und Theater he has won a reputation as an internationally known countertenor, active as a soloist, conductor and teacher. He has made guest appearances in numerous opera houses, including the Berlin Staatsoper unter den Linden, the Brussels Théâtre de la Monnaie, and the Hanover Staatsoper, as well as in festivals in Paris, London, Innsbruck and Schwetzingen, among others. He has collaborated with the most famous European conductors and orchestras, including René Jacobs, Philippe Herreweghe, Gustav Leonhardt, Frieder Bernius and Sigiswald Kuijken, and the Berlin Akademie für Alte Musik, Concerto Köln, La Petite Bande, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with a number of recordings. He appeared in the musical Chicago at the Theater an der Wien and the Berlin Theater des Westens, and has collaborated as singer, instrumentalist and arranger in various theatre productions.
As a conductor Ralf Popken is known for his work with the NDR Chorus, Vocalconsort Berlin, and ChorWerk Ruhr. At the Potsdam-Sanssouci music festival he conducted performances of C. H. Graun’s opera Orfeo. He teaches singing at the Hanover and Lübeck Musikhochschulen, and has given classes in Japan, while directing courses for conductors and singers at the Musikhochschulen in Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg and Rostock.