The Opera Workshop - insight session no. 4

Inspiring sounds
Zesses Seglias’ musical universe in concert at Kunsthaus Bregenz

Bregenz, 11.8.16. What kind of music inspires a composer today? Is there music from the past that influences his compositional style? A concert at Kunsthaus Bregenz presented pieces of music spanning several centuries, all of which had one thing in common: they are important to the Greek composer Zesses Seglias. He is currently writing an opera based on Virginia Woolf's novel To the Lighthouse, which will be given its world premiere at the Bregenz Festival in 2017 (Workshop Theatre).

For the past year, the public has been able to follow the process of creating this opera by attending a series of insight sessions in the Opera Workshop. These have explored the themes, the sound world, and the staging of the brand-new piece of music theatre. The concert during insight session no. 4 gave the audience an acoustic glimpse of Zesses Seglias' musical world.

The flickering and flaring effects to be heard in Claude Debussy's piano piece Feux d’artifice, the warm singing of the saxophone in Gérard Grisey's Nout, the melancholy voice of the cello in Johann Sebastian Bach's Sonata BWV 1029 and the heartfelt song of praise in Olivier Messiaen's Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus – again and again it is the human voice, also in instrumental music, that inspires Zesses Seglias. At the Kunsthaus Bregenz concert, the composer's musical universe unfolded before the listeners' ears. Among the pieces performed were works by Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton von Webern and finally Seglias himself – a piano piece from 2006. The composer also paid homage in the programme to his countryman Iannis Xenakis and to his teacher Beat Furrer, under whom he studied in Graz. In conversation, Seglias spoke briefly about what the selected compositions meant for his work.

The music entered into a dialogue with an exhibition by the Egyptian artist Wael Shawky. The story of the Crusades is told as filmed puppet theatre. The marionettes he made from Murano glass are part of the exhibition. Specially for the KUB exhibition, Shawky designed glass panels with sandblasted regional maps and a large flying object.

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Unter Wasser Violine spielen? Kein Problem! Fotograf Jens Ellensohn bei der - für ihn trockenen - Arbeit.