Opera Workshop-„Insight 1“: 25. January 2022, 7 pm

Bregenz, 18.1.22. The first Bregenz Festival event of 2022 is an open session of the Opera Workshop on 25 January.

Following the world premieres of To the Lighthouse (2017) and Wind (2021) the Opera Workshop returns for a third iteration. Once again it brings together three visionary and inquisitive people for the creative journey: this time the Belgian-Irish composer Éna Brennan, the Portuguese artist Hugo ­Canoilas and the British stage director Sir David Pountney, formerly artistic director of the Bregenz Festival. The public is invited to follow the process of creating an original piece of music theatre at intervals over the years. The work is set to premiere at the festival in 2024.

What can an opera in the 21st century sound like and look like, and how can it be experienced? In the Opera Workshop, the Bregenz Festival and the Kunsthaus Bregenz are offering artists a space for joint exploration, sharing thoughts and ideas which, it is hoped, will grow into a new work that can be premiered at the Worshop Theatre.

As composer, violinist and graphic designer, Éna Brennan moves between different worlds. After finishing school in Brussels, she studied composition, music and drama in Dublin. She performs on the violin and with electronics in concerts that she gives either solo or with her own ensemble. She has performed her compositions and arrangements on stage with many vocal and instrumental ensembles. Engagements have taken her to the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Union Chapel London, and Wexford Opera House. Her micro-opera Rupture, part of the Irish National Opera project “20 Shots of Opera”, received international acclaim in 2020.

Éna Brennan is now collaborating with David Pountney and Hugo Canoilas on an unusual piece of acoustic-visual music theatre for the Bregenz Festival’s Workshop Theatre. David Pountney is well acquainted with the wide-ranging capabilities of this theatre space, having overseen a good many projects there when he was director of the festival from 2004 to 2014. He is widely known for his stagings of The Flying DutchmanNabucco, Fidelio and The Magic Flute on the Bregenz lake stage and for the first full staging of the opera The Passenger, which has since been performed around the world. Pountney has also made a name for himself as a translator and a librettist. He will be making use of this experience in the Opera Workshop collaboration.

Pountney and Brennan are joined in it by the multimedia artist Hugo Canoilas, who often transforms his exhibition spaces into stages that visitors can enter and walk round. Born in Lisbon in 1977, Canoilas has lived in Vienna since 2010. In 2020 he won the Kapsch Contemporary Art Prize. For his exhibition at mumok (Vienna) On the extremes of good and evil, the display space itself was turned into a walk-on stage that resembled a horizontal painting. In his works Canoilas combines painting and art objects with performative elements. He is interested in different perspectives – which predestines him for the Opera Workshop project.

For media representatives, one press ticket is available per person. For accreditation, simply send an e-mail to the address info@bregenzerfestspiele.com by Monday 24 January.

Please note that, according to current regulations, people attending the event must provide proof of having recovered from or been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and must wear a FFP2 mask throughout.

The 2022 Bregenz Festival runs from 20 July to 21 August. For tickets and information please visit www.bregenzerfestspiele.com or call 0043 5574 4076.