Interview with

Ilka Seifert

Ilka Seifert was born in 1964 in Wiesbaden. From 1993 to 1999 she was director and dramaturge of the Neuköllner Oper Berlin; from 1999 to 2006 dramaturge at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin where she started projects like the choreographic concert »4 Elemente – 4 Jahreszeiten« or the series »Hyperaktivität und Oper« as well as the scenic realization of contemporary music.
She has worked freelance as a dramaturge for, among others, the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin, the Gärtnerplatz-Theater München, Oper Bonn, Staatstheater Braunschweig and  Radialsystem V, Berlin where she performed the roles of production manager and dramaturge for the Akademie für Alte Musik, and for the Schleswig-Holstein music festival.
Since 2007 Ilka Seifert has been working in different capacity for Sasha Waltz & Guests, among others for »Romeo et Juliette« (Paris 2007), for the choreographic operas »Passion« (Paris 2010) and »Matsukaze« (2011), for the project »human requiem« with the Rundfunkchor Berlin (2012) as well as for the education project »MusicTANZ – Carmen« in collaboration with the Berliner Philharmoniker (2012). With the concertdesigner Folkert Uhde she currently creates innovative paths of performing and contextualizing classical music in particular configurations.

Facts

1: Ohne Musik wäre das Leben ein Irrtum. (Friedrich Nietzsche)

2: Die Wahrheit ist dem Menschen zumutbar. (Ingeborg Bachmann)

3: Panta rhei (Heraklit)

Questions

What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
Making music together creates the strongest corporate feeling.
I appreciate the precious moment of rehearsing, when all the possibilities are still open and no stress or stage-fright interferes the playing.

How and when did you get into making music?
At the age of 5 I learned my first instrument.
Realizing how beautifully a lot of other musicians played their instruments I stopped performing. I first begun to work as a critic, but as I actually wanted being surrounded by music I switched to the profession of a dramaturge.

What are your 5 favorite albums of all time?
Georg Friedrich Händel – Il trionfo del tempo e del disinganno, Le concert d’Astrée
Hector Berlioz – Les nuits d’été (Regine Crespin)
Maurice Ravel – Orchestra works, L’orchester de la Suisse Romand e
Leonard Bernstein – Cand ide, London Symphony Orchestra
Queen – Absolute Greatest

What do you associate with Berlin?
Berlin has been my longest-lasting love. I’m deeply grateful that I have already been living in Berlin when the wall fell down. The atmosphere in the city during the following months was unbelievable. Strangers embraced and invited each other in the streets. Freedom was possible. The historic dimension was sensible in everyday life.

What’s your favorite place in your town?
Hasenschänke at Hasenheide.

If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
Caretaker in a very old villa or a castle.

What was the last record you bought?
Tora Augestad: Graces that Refrain

Who would you most like to collaborate with?
 Alain Platel

What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
as spectator: Francesco Cavalli, La Calisto (Berliner Staatsoper)
as dramaturg: Giuseppe Verdi, Macbeth (Berliner Staatsoper)

How important is technology to your creative process?
It is not at the beginning of the creative process, but I value each medium that helps to get a certain artistic result, to improve on the way to what I want to reach.

Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career?
An older brother who deals with marketing for insurances. What I’m doing as dramaturge seems always a little strange to him. As we don’t live in the same city, it is pretty rare that he can come to hear and see one of the productions that I’m working for.

Links: Friends of Amarillis (trailer) | Human Requiem  |  Hohelied

Projects:  08 Über Wunden |  sounds & clouds im RADIALSYSTEM V