Brigitte Witzenhause has been a research fellow and Ph.D. candidate at the International Research Training Group “InterArt” of the Freie Universität Berlin since October 2006.
Her area of research, “music theatre creations” (Musiktheater-Kreationen), bears a direct relationship to her artistic work, which can be described as a search for and meditation on new contemporary music theatre performance forms. These forms are not grounded in the interpretation of an pre-existing, structurally determining score, but use individual constituent elements of the performance (text, music, body, etc.) as raw materials for the creation of a structurally new composition.
In her dissertation project “Konstruktionsmodelle musik-theatraler Kreationen am Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts. Vom Material zur Form – Exemplarische Analysen“ (Construction Models of Music Theatre Creations at the Beginning of the 21st Century. From Material to Form — Exemplary Analyses) Brigitte Witzenhause examines performance realities of current musical theatre practice by analysing performances of contemporary music theatre creations, which consciously separate and differentiate themselves from the practice of interpreting works of the established music theatre canon (the approach of Regietheater or director’s theatre) and from the process of premiering new music theatre works, which have been created by a composer in the classical sense. However, these performances may still be described as music theatre, or more specifically as “music theatre creations”, which, beyond the genres of opera, play and dance, develop their specific performance forms out of materials common to all, as well as out of combinations of these materials.
Brigitte Wizenhause was born in 1979. She studied Music Theatre Directing from 1998-2005 and pursued a parallel and complementary course of study in Media Directing at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin (Hanns Eisler Academy of Music Berlin) from 2001-2005. Her thesis production, the music theatre project “Artikulation Ligeti+++” received an Artistic Development Grant (awarded for excellence in conception) of the Akademie Musiktheater Heute/Kulturstiftung der Deutschen Bank (Academy for Music Theatre Today/Deutsche Bank Cultural Foundation) in 2004.
Brigitte Witzenhause was a VALIE EXPORT fellow of the Internationale Sommerakademie für Bildende Kunst Salzburg in 2003, a fellow of the Akademie der Künste in 2005, where she was mentored by Peter Konwitschny, and has held a scholarship in theatre directing from the Akademie Musiktheater Heute/Kulturstiftung der Deutschen Bank since 2005. Since receiving her diplomas in Music Theatre Directing and Media Directing, Ms. Witzenhause has been active as a freelance stage director. Characteristic elements of her theatre and media work include an expanded understanding of the concept of “directing” and a close linkage between stage directing and media production in various forms, such as live music theatre, digital music theatre, concept development, film, installations, and media design.