Schnitzler´s Dreams - Genia

In 2015 Mareike Dobewall created the installative opera “Schnitzler´s Dreams” as a waking dream in which the audience could move freely and get fully immersed in. In the whole building of the former concert house in Fredrikstad (Norway) four singers embodied four characters from Austrian writer Arthur Schnitzler´s oeuvre. They performed parallel in this shared universe. Four international composers arranged 53 arias and Kunstlieder based on existing classical music.

In Freiburg during the experimental opera festival “Volksoper”  in July 2018 the audience had the opportunity to come close to the character Genia from “The unknown Country” ( “Das weite Land”, 1911) and to wander through her soul landscape that formed in the musical arrangement of composer Evelin Seppar.

Vienna, early 20th century: The promising young pianist Korsakov commits suicide. He spent his last evening in the company of the successful industrialist Friedrich Hofreiter. His wife, Genia, is in possession of a farewell letter stating that she had refused an affair with the pianist, despite her affection, and that he shot himself out of unfortunate love for her. Genia's renunciation and her adherence to marital fidelity cause the notorious cheater Hofreiter to spontaneously join a group of friends to the mountains, where he begins a new affair with young Erna. During his absence Genia gets involved with Otto, the son of a friend. When Hofreiter returns and learns of his wife's affair, he challenges Otto to a duel and shoots him.

Scenographer Ylva Owren designed an “Annex” for the Theater Freiburg as the “Volksoper” for the duration of the experimental opera festival. The little house was placed in front of the theatre, opposite the main square of Freiburg. At this much-used place people passing by the Annex or having an ice-cream on the stairs of the theatre were captured by the operatic voice of Mari Asvik, as much as the limited audience who could share the small Annex with her and the instrumentalists for one hour. The public and the private could be experience simultaneously as the character Genia tried to keep the appearances intact while her world was falling apart.


With Mari Askvik (Mezzosopran), Matias Askvik (Contrabass), Armando Renzi (Violincello), Ingo Ziemke (Violine)
Director: Mareike Dobewall
Musical arrangement: Evelin Seppar
Scenography: Ylva Owren
Costume: Mareike Dobewall


with the support of:

SKH Stockholm University of the Arts