Opera Atelier

Insight Sessions
Opera Atelier

How does an opera come into being? The Opera Atelier offers a window on this intense interactive process between different artists. The general public is invited to attend Insight sessions, outside the festival season too, where they can get to know the people involved in the work on the libretto, the score and the staging of the opera To the Lighthouse. Composer Zesses Seglias’s opera will be given its world premiere in 2017.  

The Opera Workshop was set up in 2014 in association with Kunsthaus Bregenz. In it, the Greek composer Zesses Seglias has teamed up with the Austrian author and director Ernst Marianne Binder and the dramaturg Olaf A. Schmitt to create a new work of music theatre, starting with the choice of subject and ending with the planned premiere in 2017. The Danish fine artist Jakob Kolding has joined the team as the stage designer. Aspects of staging and presentation have been examined more intensively in his recent work.

At the coming insight sessions the audience will find out about other artists involved in the project as well. The new opera is based, for instance, on the novel To the Lighthouse by the British writer Virginia Woolf. The novel tells the story of a family in which the youngest son James finds himself in a position of conflict between his visionary, imaginative mother and his rigorously empirical father, and is filled with hatred for his father. Woolf's style is characterised by interior monologues, the ambivalence of the events described, and by literary quotations that make it possible to follow various traces in her language. What implications Woolf's distinctive language has for the composition and the staging will be revealed in the insight sessions.



14 March 2017 - 7.00 p.m., Kunsthaus Bregenz


6 August 2017 - 7.00 p.m., Festspielhaus



11 May 2015
Further information you find here.


3 December 2015 – 7.30 p.m.
Further information you find here.


3 March 2016 - 7.00 p.m.
Lecture by Ernst M. Binder about Virginia Woolf
Further information you find here.


10 August 2016 – 9 p.m.
Works by Zesses Seglias u.a.


28 November 2016
Further information you find here.


The Greek composer Zesses Seglias studied in Thessaloniki (Greece) under Dimitris Papageorgiou and in Graz (Austria) under Beat Furrer. His works have been performed by the chamber orchestra Klangforum Wien and the Diotima Quartet. In 2014, his first chamber opera hystéra was premiered at Graz Opera. http://zesseseglias.com/

The author, musician and stage director Ernst Marianne Binder has written many plays and prose texts. From 1987 to 2003 he was artistic director of the Forum Stadtpark Graz, and has directed the theatre dramagraz since 2003. From 1995 to 2003, as house director at Mecklenburg Theatre in Schwerin, Binder staged premiere productions of a number of plays by Einar Schleef. He passed away on January 27, 2017. http://ernstmariannebinder.mur.at

Jakob Kolding comes from Albertslund in Denmark. He studied sociology at Roskilde University and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He lives and works in Berlin. His works have been exhibited in museums and galleries all over the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam, at the Kunstverein in Frankfurt am Main, Graz and Hamburg, at the Liverpool Biennial, the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, Wien Museum, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Louisiana, Humlebæk, Denmark, the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, and The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor. He is represented by Galerie Martin Janda (Vienna), Galleri Nicolai Wallner (Copenhagen) and Team Gallery (New York). http://www.martinjanda.at/de/kuenstler/jakob-kolding/werke/

Vibeke Andersen, born in Ålesund, Norway, studied interior design and furniture design at the Bergen Academy of Art and Design (Norway), stage design at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz and the Weißensee Academy of Art, Berlin. Following her studies she worked in Germany for several years as a set designer, costume designer and exhibition designer, e.g. at Akademie der Künste Berlin, Berliner Ensemble, Theater Oberhausen, Pocket Opera Company Nürnberg as well as for cinema and television. She has designed sets and costumes for Oper Graz, Schauspielhaus Graz, the Slovene National Theatre in Maribor, Next Liberty and dramagraz.

Olaf A. Schmitt was born in Schweinfurt and studied theatre, film and media studies and musicology at Frankfurt am Main. While studying he gathered experience at Stuttgart State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He was dramaturg at Theater Heidelberg from 2005 to 2008 and at Bavarian State Opera from 2008 to 2013. At the Royal Opera House Covent Garden he was dramaturg on the production of Idomeneo in 2014. He has been dramaturg at the Bregenz Festival since August 2014 and additionally becomes artistic director of the Kasseler Musiktage in 2016.

Additional information