Franco-German director Ingrid von Wantoch Rekowski was born in Bad Godesberg, Germany, in 1967. After studying piano, dance and painting in the United States, she started directing at INSAS (Institut National Supérieur des Arts et Spectacles) in Brussels, training under the likes of Eugenio Barba, Bob Wilson, Georges Aperghis, Trisha Brown, Dario Fo and Anatoli Vassiliev.
From her very first show, In the Woods One Evening (1994), featuring music by Aperghis, Buckinx, Berberian, Deak, Dzuibak and Lachert, she has established a singular language suffused with the logics of the stage, music, visual art and literature. As a young artist, it was less about telling a story than about immersing the audience in a particular universe to challenge, touch and deeply move them. This approach was one she extended with Lucilia Caesar, as much as a laboratory of creation as it is a musical theatre company, which she founded in Brussels in the same year.
A-Ronne II by Berio (1996) brought her national and international recognition. This was followed by, among others, Cena Furiosa (1999), madrigals by Monteverdi at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence; Lohengrin (2001) by Sciarrino at the Berlin Biennale; In H-Moll (2001) based on the J. S. Bach’s B Minor Mass, notably performed at the Festival Musica Strasbourg and Wiener Festwochen, and revived in Brussels in December 2018; La Vergine Dei Dolori (2003), an oratorio by Scarlatti at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples and in Brussels; Le Tango des Centaures (2005) based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses, written by Pascal Quignard and composed by Kris Defoort; Mondschatten (2006), a chamber opera by Younghi Pagh-Paan at the Oper Stuttgart; Lapsit exillis (2009), based on the Arthurian legends, and Raphaël, les sirènes et le poulet (2011), based on famous duets, at the Théâtre National in Brussels; Le Stéréoscope des Solitaires (2015), based on Juan Rodolfo Wilcock’s work, a journey of sound to music by Ana Maria Rodriguez, which premiered at Le Manège in Reims (Reims Scènes d’Europe) and at the Ballhaus Ost in Berlin, and was then revived at the Théâtre La Criée (Festival les Musiques) in Marseille (2016), the KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen (2017) and the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts in Taiwan (2019); Bug, co-produced with IRCAM (Paris) and performed in June 2017 in Paris then in Brussels during Ars Musica, and at the Centre National Césaré in Reims. Her latest creation, Faux depart, premiered in a “flash” version on the Esplanade Solidarność 1980 in Brussels, before being performed in September 2018 at the “Court Toujours” festival of the CDN in Thionville and in March 2019 at the Théâtre National in Brussels. This show was also due to be performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2020.
IvWR has also created numerous performances, installations and videos, notably Métamorphoses Nocturnes (tableaux vivants), Métamorphoses II d’Avila (installation), Rubens-Metamorfoses (video), It will take about 7 minutes (performance), Impromptus (performance) and La Galerie des Solitaires (installation).
She is currently working on a three-part opera, Is this the End?, to music by Jean-Luc Fafchamps and a libretto by Éric Brucher, at the Opéra Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels that commissioned the work. The first part, Dead Little Girl, will be performed live and filmed in September 2020.
The director is also working on a vast “alphabet primer” on themes linked to this musical triptych.
Ingrid von Wantoch Rekowski regularly collaborates with leading artists such as the composers Qu Xiao-Song, Salvatore Sciarrino, Kris Defoort and Youngi Pagh-Paan, conductors Marc Minkowski, Beat Furrer, Konrad Junghänel and Rinaldo Alessandrini, and the writer Pascal Quignard.
She has been invited to several festivals, theatres and opera houses in Europe and Asia and her work regularly features in repertoires.
She was associate artist at the Théâtre National in Brussels from 2005 to 2011.
Ingrid von Wantoch Rekowski has regularly given classes at INSAS (Brussels) since 2007 and also makes appearances at various schools for the arts in Europe, including in Aberystwyth, Lausanne, Lyon, Mons and Zürich.