Hold Your Breath

Éna Brennan | Hugo Canoilas | David Pountney

Opera (2024)
Libretto by David Pountney
World Premiere
Sung in English with German surtitles

15. August 2024 - 8.00 p.m.

approx. 90 minutes (no intermission)

Commissioned by the Bregenzer Festspiele as part of the Opernatelier
In cooperation with Kunsthaus Bregenz

Performances & Tickets

In a society where the individual’s life depends on the unemotional decisions of a selected few, a young woman tries to keep the memory of her grandmother alive. Suddenly, humankind faces some kind of creature and is seized and changed by its movements. Some claim to have created this mysterious octopus-like being. How is this creature related to human beings and do they have a hold on their lives?

Over several years, the composer Éna Brennan, the director and librettist David Pountney and the visual artist Hugo Canoilas worked together in the Opernatelier to create a music theatre for the Werkstattbühne. Its main character right from the beginning is one of the most fascinating – and probably most intelligent – animals on this planet, an octopus. The singers’ voices and the dancers’ movements merge with the musicians whose sounds are electronically transmitted, thus creating a music theatre that engages all senses.

As a violinist and composer Éna Brennan wanders between different worlds. In 2020, she became internationally known with her short opera Rupture as part of the 20 Shots of Opera at the Irish National Opera. The visual artist Hugo Canoilas is known for transforming galleries into walkable stages. Born in Lisbon, the multimedia artist now commutes between Vienna, New York and Portugal. David Pountney returns to Bregenz where he left his mark on the Bregenzer Festspiele as artistic director from 2004 to 2014 with several productions on the Seebühne. 

For the opera Hold Your Breath two ticket categories are available: You can either get a ticket in the numbered seating area or in the standing room where you are invited to explore the production first-hand from different perspectives while walking around. 

SEATING AREA | Choose your tickets in one of the sectors A, B, C or D in the seating plan.

STANDING ROOM – WALK AROUND AND EXPLORE | Choose these seats by clicking in the middle of the seating plan (“Stehplätze – Zum Wandeln und unmittelbaren Erleben”). 

The Official Scott Hendricks
The Red Leader | Priest | Dollmaker | Speaker Sam Furness
The Black Leader | Dollmaker Maria Hegele
The Nurse | Dollmaker Idunnu Münch
The Granddaughter | Dollmaker | Woman Shira Patchornik

Music Éna Brennan
Stage Director David Pountney
Stage | Costume Design Hugo Canoilas
Choreography Caroline Finn
Dramaturge Olaf A. Schmitt