1 January 2002
Genesis heard and took note of the work of Isidora Žebeljan at the first Genesis Opera Project workshops in 2002. A segment from an early version of her opera, Zora D, was developed and given a presentation.
Subsequently, the chamber opera companies in both Amsterdam and Vienna chose to do a joint staging of this work (directed by David Pountney and Nicola Raab), which achieved some success.
This opera opened the 50th season of the Vienna Chamber Opera in 2003. The same production of opera Zora D. had 22 performances in five European countries in just four years, including at the festivals such as Zagreb Music Biennale and Belgrade Music Festival.
When a work was needed to pay special tribute to Bill Viola at his new exhibition, The Passions, in London in 2003/04, the Genesis Foundation turned to Isidora and commissioned a work from her in two stages - the origin of Song of a Traveller in the Night and Minstrel's Dance. Song of Traveller in the Night has subsequently been performed more than 20 times in 10 European countries by the Brodsky Quartet,the Zagros Ensemble from Helsinki and the Ensemble Sentieri Selvaggi from Milan. It has also had performances at music festivals such as the Galway Arts Festival, WDR Musikfest and Settembre musica.
Genesis continues to watch and applaud the career of Isidora Žebeljan, who has written a considerable number of works for the theatre and for chamber groups in the past two years as well as scores for several films. She has also recently premiered a new opera called The Marathon Family at the Bregenz Festival in August 2008. This was a Genesis Commission based on a famous Serbian film. The opera was co-produced and subsequently performed by companies in Belgrade and Vienna.