Wagner for children: Lea Willeke stages "Lohengrin" as a children's opera in Bayreuth

Lea Willeke

Eisler directing students at the Bayreuth Festival 

This festival season, the Bayreuth Festival is presenting Richard Wagner's "Lohengrin" as a children's opera, staged by music theater director and Eisler student Lea Willeke. The premiere will take place on July 25, 2022 at 11 a.m. on rehearsal stage 4 of the Bayreuth Festival. Nine more performances will follow until August 5th, 2022.
Marlene Schleicher studies production dramaturgy at the Eisler and takes over the dramaturgy, the stage design is designed by Zoe Leutnant. She is a student at the Weißensee Kunsthochschule and recently worked on the stage design at the Eisler as part of a university cooperation.

Since the first edition of the children's opera at the Bayreuth Festival, directing students from the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin have been responsible for staging the Wagner opera in the children's version by Katharina Wagner. The Brandenburg State Orchestra Frankfurt/Oder will play under the baton of the Austrian conductor Azis Sadikovic.

Since 2009, the Eisler directing course has maintained regular cooperation with the Bayreuth Festival. The festival director Katharina Wagner, as an honorary professor for directing, gives workshops for directing students at the university. Prospective directors from the course assist both in the staging of the children's opera and in the current main productions of the festival, this year Hendrik Arns with the "Ring des Nibelungen".

Lea Willeke

Lea Willeke was born in Jena in 1993 and received piano, violin and singing lessons during her school days. After graduating from high school, she completed an FSJ culture in the field of dramaturgy in the areas of music theater, ballet and concert at the Altenburg-Gera Theater. As a scholarship holder from the Gudrun Frey Foundation in 2013/14, she worked as a German Assistant Teacher at an international girls' high school near London. She completed her studies in music and media studies at the University of Regensburg in 2017 with a bachelor's degree. Lea Willeke has been studying music theater direction at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin since October 2018. Several internships as directors gave her artistic impulses and led her to the Komische Oper Berlin to produce the opera Der Vampyr by Heinrich Marschner (director: Antú Nuñes), to the Hamburg State Opera to produce Die Frau ohne Schatten (director: Andreas Kriegenburg), to the Salzburger Festival for the production of Lady Macbeth von Mzensk (director: Andreas Kriegenburg), to the Semperoper Dresden for the production of La Forza del Destino (director: Keith Warner) and to the Bavarian State Opera for the production of Parsifal (director: Pierre Audi, stage: Georg Baselitz). She assisted in the productions Sehnsucht.Lohengrin (director: Ulrike Schwab, co-director: Georg Schütky) and Pinocchio (director: Swaantje Lena Kleff) at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin. She made her directorial debut in 2019 at the Altenburg-Gera Theater with BABBEL, a music theater play for children by Paula Fünfeck.
► To the Children's opera on the Bayreuth Festival website

Bayreuther Festspiele | Premiere | MO 25. Juli 2022, 11 H
Richard Wagner für Kinder: Lohengrin

Fassung von Katharina Wagner 
Musikalische Bearbeitung: Marko Zdralek
Musikalische Leitung: Azis Sadikovic 
Inszenierung: Lea Willeke
Dramaturgie: Marlene Schleicher
Bühnenbild: Zoe Leutnant
Lichtdesigh: Peter Younes
Projektmanagement: Markus Latsch
Brandenburgisches Staatsorchester Frankfurt/Oder

Lohengrin - Daniel Kirch
Elsa - Brit-Tone Müllertz
Telramund - Michael Kupfer-Radecky
Ortrud - Stéphanie Müther
Heerrufer - Manni Laudenbach
König Heinrich - Oleksandr Pushniak