Opera Workshop - 2nd Open Session

12. January 2023, 7 pm

Bregenz, 30.9.22. What could an opera in our times be like? How do sounds, stories and spaces interact and work upon how we perceive them? In the Opera Workshop, organised by the Bregenz Festival and the Kunsthaus Bregenz (KUB), the audience is invited to follow the process of creating a new opera over several years – a process that ordinarily takes place behind closed doors.

Three different artists are currently engaged in this creative collaboration: the composer and violinist Éna Brennan, the stage director and librettist Sir David Pountney, and the painter and multimedia artist Hugo Canoilas. Over the last few months the Bregenz audience has had a chance to get to know them. Éna Brennan performed her own music and other selected pieces at the last KUB concert with musicians of the Vorarlberg Symphony Orchestra, taking the audience on an ethereal journey. In the first “Insight”, or open session, at the beginning of the year, an octopus was discussed as a possible centrepiece of the music theatre project that was then taking shape. This mysterious, protean, sensitive and fascinating creature has since then appeared as a subject in the work of Hugo Canoilas, a Lisbon-born artist who lives in Vienna and New York. For the exhibition Phantasmagoria at the Centro De Artes Visuais (CAV) in Coimbra, Portugal in summer 2022, he created an enormous painting that stretched through all the rooms of the exhibition centre and displayed elements of an octopus. This work of art could also have an important role to play in the planned opera premiere at the Bregenz Festival in 2024.

The audience will be able to experience this painting in a special way in the Opera Workshop’s second open session, to be held in the Bregenz Festspielhaus. Hugo Canoilas will give an insight into his way of working and present his ideas for the music theatre project. Admission is free; for tickets and further information, please visit www.bregenzerfestspiele.com or phone 0043 5574 4076.