Masterclass for Opera Directors

with Barrie Kosky
artistic director and chief stage director
of the Komische Oper Berlin
from 16th to 20th May 2018
Barrie Kosky rehearsing Jewgeni Onegin, january 2016 © Jan Windszus Photography
Barrie Kosky rehearsing Jewgeni Onegin, january 2016 © Jan Windszus Photography
While masterclasses – generally workshops spanning several days where experienced musicians pass on their knowledge and expertise to the younger generation – are a common feature of the education and training of singers and instrumentalists, they are a comparative rarity when it comes to stage direction. Yet in opera directing just as in singing and instrumental musicianship, soundly based technical proficiency is a prerequisite for high-quality artistic achievement. Ever since it was founded by the director Walter Felsenstein in 1947, the Komische Oper Berlin has attached particular importance to staging, irrespective of the prevailing aesthetic. The opera house would therefore seem predestined to be the venue for a masterclass delivering hands-on practical coaching in stage direction. In its 70th season, 2017/18, the Komische Oper Berlin for the first time invites applications to a five-day masterclass open to three young directors and hosted by its artistic director and chief stage director Barrie Kosky.

The three master students

Béatrice Lachaussée

Blanka Rádóczy

Kai Anne Schuhmacher

Opera director Béatrice Lachaussée was born and raised in Paris. She studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, then later musical theatre direction at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. In 2013, she made her directorial debut with the world premiere of the opera Biedermann und die Brandstifter by Šimon Voseček at the Neue Oper Wien. Her interpretation of Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Jakob Lenz at the Trinitatiskirche of the Cologne Opera won the 2014 Götz Friedrich Studio Prize for the best chamber opera production in the German-speaking world. This was followed by directorial engagements at the Luzerner Theater (Béatrice et Bénédict), the Theater Aachen (Die verkaufte Braut), and the Cologne Opera (L’heure espagnole/L’enfant et les sortilèges). Next season, Béatrice Lachaussée will direct Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the Stadttheater Bremerhaven.
Blanka Rádóczy was born in Pécs, Hungary, and raised in Hungary and Switzerland. She studied stage and film design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. During and after her studies, she worked on numerous productions as a freelance stage design assistant to Anna Viebrock and others at the Theater Basel, the Vienna Festival, and the Volksbühne in Berlin. After graduation followed three years of freelance work in set and costume design in Osnabrück, Heidelberg, Vienna, and Basel, among other locations. Since the 2014 summer semester, she has been studying acting direction and musical theatre direction at the Theaterakademie August Everding. As a part of her studies, she directed among other works Phone Call to Hades (composition: Cathy van Eck), a musical theatre project in the public arena, which premiered at the 2016 Munich Biennale, as well as Teorema, based on motifs by P. P. Pasolini, with which she won the Körber Studio Junge Regie audience prize. Her graduation capstone production of Würgen des Fasans. Mache, dass ich zu dir sprechen kann premiered in October 2017 at Munich’s Reaktorhalle.

After studying musicology at the University of Bayreuth and the University of Ferrara, Kai Anne Schuhmacher began her directorial studies in 2011 at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, where she earned her degree in 2014. While still in university, she worked as an assistant and director in Germany, Austria, France, and Switzerland. In 2016, Kai Anne Schuhmacher made her directorial debut with Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia at the Cologne Opera, where she subsequently also staged Pierrot Lunaire. In her production of Hoffmanns Erzählungen for children at the Cologne Opera, she incorporated elements of puppetry and masked theatre for the first time, building her own puppets, and she even wrote the libretto herself. Since the 2017/18 season, Schuhmacher has been an Artist in Residence at the Figurentheater Gera. In addition to productions in spoken and musical theatre, her work also includes off-stage collages and projects in the public arena. Her last project was the interactive multi-stage theatre piece Re:Play, which premiered in December 2017 at the Out of Control Festival in Vienna with the Netzzeit ensemble.
Komische Oper Berlin
Dr. Rainer Simon
Referent of the intendant
Behrenstraße 55-57
10117 Berlin