“A whole generation down the drain!”

Two light designers on the contemporary lighting situation in German opera houses

Olaf Freese is head of lighting at the Berlin State Opera and Reinhard Traub is his counterpart at Staatstheater Stuttgart. Colleagues, rivals – and good friends – for 30 years now, they also work freelance and are internationally active. Traub’s guest appearance in Berlin, creating the light for the new production of The Magic Flute at the State Opera, provided a rare opportunity to talk to the two light designers together, not only about negative aspects of their profession, such as inadequate training and short rehearsal periods, but also about the bright side of light designing.

February 2019: Reinhard Traub has come to Berlin for the final rehearsals of the State Opera’s new production of Mozart’s Magic Flute, where he meets up with his long-time associate Olaf Freese, busy rehearsing Babylon by Jörg Widmann.

BTR: Mr Freese, Mr Traub, you contacted us with a request to talk about the inadequate state of light design training in Germany.

Olaf Freese (OF): There are two aspects we are concerned about here. For one, light designers don’t get the artistic training they should, and second, lighting technicians still need to fulfil what I see to be antiquated requirements to get ...

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BTR Ausgabe 2 2019
Rubrik: English texts, Seite 218
von Karin Winkelsesser