For several years the Make-up for Theatre and Film study programme (BA./MA.) at the Bayerische Theaterakademie August Everding has collaborated with the Bayreuth Festival and has provided make-up, masks and wigs for their children’s operas. The children’s opera performed at the 2014 Festival was Wagner’s opera Lohengrin, presented in collaboration with Bavarian Radio. Under the direction of Nora Conradi and Alisia Schreiner from the 2nd Year, Miriam Waldenspuhl, Caterina Veronesi and I, Julian Hutcheson, from the 1st Year were able to participate in this.
Various items including turbans, snake headpieces, hairpieces and hair ornaments had to be made.I was responsible for the character Gottfried, which meant that I had to make a swan’s mask. I began by modelling a beak which I made out of plaster and moulded in latex rubber. I then attached this to a half mask which I had made sure fitted the actor at the main piano rehearsal, and then painted it accordingly. In addition, a hairpiece and feathers had to be glued onto the mask and finally the whole thing was sprayed.
The mask was a big challenge for me, as I’d never previously made any wigs and had immersed myself in the subject as a complete novice. However, I was ultimately very satisfied with my work. After all the preparations had been made and all the parts made, I then had to travel to the Festival to attend the final rehearsals and the performances. Our lecturer Monika Gora, Head of Design at the Bayreuth Festival, showed us around the premises as well as showing us the make-up and costume departments in the Main House, which we all found really interesting.
Being able to participate in the Bayreuth Festival and breathing the heady Festival air for a season was a highly inspiring and varied experience. The time spent at the Festival was really pleasant, as well as being exciting and hard work.
Julian Hutcheson Makeup,hair and special effects artist in the making