Interview with the finalist of the 5-Minute Opera Competition: Kevin Juillerat


1. Where and how did you find out about the 5 Minutes Opera Competition?

I am often looking for interesting composition competitions on the Internet and I found the 5-Minute Opera Competition in this way. It was a fortunate coincidence because I really wanted to write a stage work of this kind when I found it out!


2. Did you have any previous knowledge about Music Biennale Zagreb?

No, I didn't know it at all.


3. Did you have any previous experience in composing for stage?

My work "Souvenirs de Berlin", which was written for the competition, is my first stage work in the traditional sense. I had already written several pieces with voice and also a couple of pieces integrating lights or video, which already entails an idea of stage performance.


4. What kind of challenge was it for you to compose a 5 minute opera?

I think that the main challenge was to create a coherent dramaturgy in only five minutes (that is pretty short, especially in music)! But we did a great job with the young swiss scriptwriter and actress Elise Hofner who wrote the libretto. I think that we found a good way to tell a short but interesting and consistent story. Another challenge for me was to find a good way to put together the action with the music : supporting without illustrating, finding complementarity without becoming redundant... 


5. Have you ever been in Croatia and do you plan to come to Zagreb to the premiere of your piece? 

I will definitely be there for the premiere and it will be my first time in Croatia! I am really looking forward to it.