Past event
16 Jan 2024 19:30

Heloiza (and Abelard)

The new opera by two renowned Slovenian artists, librettist Milan Dekleva and composer Peter Kopač, is dedicated to the life of the French medieval scholastic philosopher, teacher, theologian, composer and poet Peter Abelard (1079–1142) and his life companion Héloise d'Argenteuil – a nun, philosopher, writer, scholar and abbess. The story of Heloise (and Abelard) is brough to life by four vocalists and the Chamber Ensemble of the Slovenian Chamber Music Theatre.

Abelard was known for his conceptualist and ethical view of the world and medieval society. Composer Peter Kopač understood Abelard's perception of the world from the perspective of conceptualism as an emphasis on concepts and ideas existing within the experience of the individual, and ethics as a philosophical discipline dealing with the problem of morality or immorality, and translated it into a contemporary minimalist opera adapted to our modern times and audiences.

Here we have an opera about demonic love, which only a woman is able to bear. Abelard falters: because of masculine vanity, the desire to succeed and attain fame, as well as out of fear. The fear resulting from his reliance on the power of reason in seeking God and not daring to leap into the dark abyss of truth. The truth offered to him by Heloise with bodily and spiritual devotion, the embodied soul. ‘If only I knew how to wall myself into transience," he whispers consumed by the fires of lust, ‘I would know that the temporariness of our love is all there is. The sense of wholeness. The touch of the divine. Infinite gift.’ Heloise's risk – the belief that transience alone holds the transcendence of self – is stronger than Abelard's sophistic skills and brilliant thinking. Heloise’s all-consuming love puts Abelard in parenthesis.
Milan Dekleva

Composer Peter Kopacˇ (1949) graduated in composition and piano from the Ljubljana Academy of Music with Lucijan, Marija Škerjanc and Uroš Krek. The composer's output mainly includes chamber and solo music, over the last few years he has also written symphonic music. He forged his own unique creative path, seeking new expressive possibilities but with the use of existing aesthetically selected sonic material, from pentatonic, chromatic and whole-tone scales to archaic modes, and using modified versions of established forms such as sonata form and variations.

His works have been performed in Europe, (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Slovakia, United Kingdom, Lithuania), the US (Phoenix, Las Vegas, Seattle, Iowa, Washington D.C., Albuquerque), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), China (Beijing), Russia (Moskva) and Iran (Tehran). 

Throughout his professional career, Peter Kopač mainly taught at the Music School in Škofja Loka, where he resides. The composer is actively involved in the Society of Slovenian Composers (DSS) as a member of the Board of Directors, editor-in-chief of DSS editions, and from 2007 to 2017 also as artistic director of DSS Chamber Nights. On the occasion of the composer's 70th birthday, a concert of his chamber works was held in his native Jesenice and in Škofja Loka with renowned Slovenian musicians. In recent years, he has worked prolifically, focusing on orchestral works: Koncert za orgle in orkester (Organ Concerto, 2019), Simfonija (Symphony, 2021).

Heloiza (and Abelard)

14 Jan 2024 19:30
15 Jan 2024 19:30
16 Jan 2024 19:30
14 Jan 2024 19:30
15 Jan 2024 19:30
16 Jan 2024 19:30
Show more

15,00 EUR

10,00 EUR * * EUR for younger than 25 and older than 65, as well as pensioners.

Music: Peter Kopač
Libretto: Milan Dekleva
Director: Eva Hribernik
Conductor: Jelena Susnick
Set design: Jaro Ješe
Costume design: Anjana Pavlič 
Co-production: Slovenian Chamber Music Theatre and Cankarjev dom
Producer: Katja Konvalinka
The project was supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

Cast of performers: 
Heloise – Katja Konvalinka, soprano
Abelard – Edvard Strah, tenor
Saint Bernard – Darko Vidic, baritone
Peter the Venerable – Janko Volčanšek, bass baritone
Chamber Ensemble of the Slovenian Chamber Music Theatre 


Luka Mlejnik Železnik, flute
Urška Rihtaršič, harp
Petra Vidmar, percussion
String quartet: 
Ana Julija Mlejnik Železnik, first violin 
Mojca Batič, second violin 
Anuša Plesničar, viola 
Milan Hudnik, cello 



The Card of Cankarjev dom 

© Cankarjev dom

Cookies   Production: ENKI