Vicki Mortimer, designer
At the 2009 Salzburg Festival, Christian and I worked together on a piece by the radical italian composer, Luigi Nono. Al Gran Sole is written without characters, narrative or dialogue. Each new production has the task of completely re-imagining the piece, and creating its own aesthetic structure and visual framework.
Katie Mitchell”s 2009 production took its inspiration from the sequence of women whose fragmented presence dominates the subliminal structure. Each of these female characters were allocated a miniature film set on the stage itself, within which they were filmed live, in close up. This is one area where Christian’s particular talent was essential: for these sequences he made wigs which were of film quality – completely believable, beautifully conceived and made – but durable enough for repeated use both in rehearsal and in performance.
The other element of the show involved 100 members of the Vienna State Chorus as well as a number of soloists, whose visual impact had to be achieved by more theatrical means, and whose personal sensibilities had to be accommodated. Again Christian was exceptionally good at bringing together the needs of the creative aim and those of circumstance and personality.
The festival proposed Christian as their wig and make up specialist – so it was a kind of shotgun marriage! It could have been disastrous, but as it turned out, Christian is a colleague I would work with again without hesitation. His ease and grace in collaboration, his inventiveness and his sensitivity to the needs of production and performer are highly unusual, as are his skills as a maker and supervisor.
What’s more, he has a delightfully mischievous sense of humour and ENDLESS PATIENCE! I am hoping to persuade him to emigrate to the UK.”
Marie Jeanne Lecca – Costumedesigner
CHRISTIAN AND I MET WHILE WORKING ON A VERY SPECIAL PROJECT, THE OPERA “DIE SOLDATEN”, FOR THE RUHR TRIENNALE.
BY SPECIAL I MEAN IT HAD TO HAVE A HIGH DEFINITION, FILM LIKE REALITY ABOUT IT, AS THE AUDIENCE WAS EXTREMELY CLOSE; GRAND OPERA MAKE UP AND OPERATIC WIGS WERE SOMETHING WE HAD TO RUN AWAY FROM. WITH HIS HELP AND CONTINUOUS QUEST FOR PERFECTION, EVERYBODY ON STAGE LOOKED SPOT ON, LIKE WALKING OUT OF A 1918 PHOTOGRAPH.
WHAT ALSO MADE THIS SHOW SPECIAL WAS THE FACT THAT WE WERE MIXING IN FATHER CHRISTMAS MASKS AND PIGS MASKS, WITH A HINT OF CHRISTMAS PARTY THAT TURNS TO HORROR. THE WAY THOSE MASKS WERE MADE UNDER HIS SUPERVISION WAS ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT, AND THEY BROUGHT WITH THEM A KIND OF FRISSON I SHALL NEVER FORGET.
I LOOK FORWARD TO MORE EXCITING PROJECTS TOGETHER, CHRISTIAN!
Andrea Schmidt-Futterer, costume designer
Christian Ochs —– make up and wigs
A very pleasant person
Artistically sensitive and dedicated
The job is in good hands
Is able to react and improvise
Unable to do a bad job
What makes him special
Five-star make-up artist and wig designer
A big heart
Catherine Naglestad, opera singer
This is just a short note to say how much I enjoyed having you at my side in Baden-Baden! Not only did you make me look wonderful, (which in the heat was a bit of challenge!), you at all times had a calm, soothing, fun and ‘down to earth’ way about you that I miss!
I sincerely hope we’ll have the chance to work with each other again!