Directing student Ruth Asralda stages children's opera "Parsifal" at the Bayreuth Festival

Festspielhaus Bayreuth © Rico Neitzel

Every summer on 25 July, all eyes turn to the Bayreuth Festival when the premiere is celebrated on the main stage of the Festspielhaus. On the morning of the same day, however, another premiere has preceded it on the rehearsal stage for the past 13 years: the Bayreuth Festival's children's opera, staged every year by Eisler directing students and initiated by Festival Director Katharina Wagner, who teaches as an honorary professor at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin.

In the 2023 Festival season, Ruth Asralda will direct Richard Wagner's opera "Parsifal". In a team with dramaturge Giulia Fornasier, production dramaturgy student at the Eisler, they will bring the version created especially for children to the stage. The roles in the children's performance are always excellently cast and are in no way inferior to the production on the main stage, this time with experienced Wagner singers such as Nadine Weissmann (Kundry) and Jonathan Stoughton (Parsifal) - a great opportunity for directing students. As in the Festival editions since 2018, the Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt (Oder) will perform under the direction of Azis Sadikovic. 

As part of the cooperation with the Bayreuth Festival and the directing course led by Prof. Claus Unzen, experienced directing students can assist in the staging of the children's opera as well as in the current productions. Marlene Schleicher, who studies production dramaturgy for musical theatre at the Eisler, will take over dramaturgy this year for the main premiere of "Parsifal" on 25 July, directed by Jay Scheib, having already worked on the children's opera in 2022.

After a long break from Corona, the entire directing course is resuming a tradition and going on an excursion to Bayreuth, visiting the dress rehearsals of the festival and taking the opportunity to talk to artists and directors.
► To the children's opera on the Bayreuth Festival website

Bayreuther Festspiele | Premiere | DI 25. Juli 2023, 11 H | Probebühne 4
Richard Wagner für Kinder: Parsifal

Ruth Asralda, Director

Ruth Asralda studied musicology at the Karl-Franzens University in Graz and music theatre directing with Georges Delnon at the Musikhochschule Basel. She completed her studies with the production of "Dido without Aeneas", a music theatre project in cooperation with the Musikhochschule Basel and the Theater Basel. Since 2015, she has been studying directing at the Hanns Eisler School of Music and, as part of her studies, staged "A Quarell", her own play about the artist couple Anna Mendieta and Carl Andre, scene excerpts from "Hamlet", "Der Rosenkavalier", "Il Mondo della Luna", "La Périchole" and "Die Fledermaus". At the Bayreuth Festival she took over the production dramaturgy of the children's opera "Der Ring des Nibelungen", directed by David Merz.

She gained practical experience as an assistant director at the Bonn Theatre, the Schwetzingen Festival, the Salzburg Easter Festival, the Semperoper Dresden and the Bayreuth Festival. She assisted the directors Florian Lutz, Georges Delnon, Michael Sturminger, Manfred Weiss, Georg Schmiedleitner, Wouter van Loy, Katharina Wagner and Barrie Kosky. As the singer had an accident at the premiere, she took over the scenic role of Scintilla in the following performances of Bruno Maderna's chamber opera "Satyricon" at the Salzburg Easter Festival. Since the 2019/2020 season, Ruth Asralda has been assistant director and evening director at the Komische Oper Berlin.