Lighting designer OLAF FREESE was born in 1968 in Berlin and, after completing his technical training, found engagements first at the Berliner Ensemble and the Schauspielhaus Hamburg.
Since 1992 he has worked as lighting designer for venues such as the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg, the Residenztheater Munich, the Burgtheater Vienna, the Staatsoper and Schauspiel in Hannover, the Hamburgische Staatsoper, the Wiener Staatsoper, London‘s Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Teatro La Scala in Milan and the Salzburg Festival.
Since August 2007 Olaf Freese has been engaged on a permanent basis at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden Berlin.
Projects on which he has collaborated include Phaedra (dir.: Peter Mussbach, set design: Ólafur Elíasson), Un ballo in maschera (dir.: Jossi Wieler/Sergio Morabito), Eugene Onegin (dir.: Achim Freyer), Lohengrin (dir.: Stefan Herheim), The Abduction from the Seraglio (dir.: Michael Thalheimer), AscheMOND or The Fairy Queen (dir.: Claus Guth) at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, Macbeth (dir.: Calixto Bieito), The Marksman dir.: Falk Richter), Rusalka (dir.: Jossi Wieler/Sergio Morabito) and The Master-Singers of Nuremberg (dir.: Stefan Herheim) at the Salzburg Festival, Dialogues des Carmélites (dir.: Nikolaus Lehnhoff) at the Hamburgische Staatsoper, The Knight of the Rose (dir.: Stefan Herheim) at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, The Knight of the Rose (dir.: Anselm Weber) and Pelléas et Mélisande (dir. : Nikolaus Lehnhoff) at the Aalto Theater Essen, Tannhäuser and the Singers‘ Contest at Wartburg (dir.: Claus Guth) at the Wiener Staatsoper, Faust I, Faust II and The Oresteia (dir.: Michael Thalheimer) at the Deutsches Theater Berlin, Eugene Onegin (dir.: Stefan Herheim) at the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam, La Traviata (dir.: Johannes Erath) at the Hamburgische Staatsoper and Antigone (dir.: Vera Nemirova), Il trovatore and Orpheus in the Underworld (dir.: Philipp Stölzl), The Marksman (dir.: Michael Thalheimer) at the Staatsoper im Schiller Theater Berlin, Thursday from Light at the Theater Basel, and Salome at Opera de Paris, directed by Lydia Steier.
He was lighting designer for Claus Guth’s Fidelio at Salzburg Festival, Salome at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Violetter Schnee at Staatsoper Berlin and Salome at the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow.
Olaf Freese teaches a lighting-design module as part of the Set Painting course at the Academy of Fine Arts Dresden, (Prof. Barbara Ehnes).