Marin Blažević, PhD, is a dramaturge and opera stage director, creative producer and theatre manager, as well as theatre and performance studies scholar based in Rijeka and Zagreb, Croatia. Currently, he holds the post of General Manager and Artistic Director of the Croatian National Theater (CNT) in Rijeka.
The spectrum of Marin Blažević’s multifarious career comprises diverse artistic, academic and administrative capacities, projects, posts and responsibilities.
As associate professor he was teaching theory and history of theatre and drama, performance studies and dramaturgy at the Academy of Dramatic Art (Department of Dramaturgy; also Chair of Department, 2012-2014) and opera dramaturgy at the Music Academy (Department of Opera singing), University of Zagreb, from 1997 to 2017. Since 2013 he occasionally taught as adjunct associate professor at School of the Arts, Columbia University (Theatre MFA Program, Dramaturgy Concentration). Moreover, he gave lectures as well as held seminars and master classes on contemporary theater theory and practice, performance studies and dramaturgy at some of the most esteemed universities and art schools around the world: Yale School of Drama, Stanford TAPS, School of Communication at Northwestern University, School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi), Theater Academy at the University of the Arts in Helsinki, SAPIENZA University in Rome, De La Salle University in Manila, USC: Roski School of Art and Design, the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne) and elsewhere.
Marin Blažević published widely in English, Croatian, Slovenian, Italian and other languages. His publications include authored books, collections of essays and edited thematic issues of international journals for performing arts and performance studies. With Matthew Goulish (Goat Island, Every House Has a Door) he co-edited special double-issues of Performing Arts Journal Frakcija (Fraction): Reflections on the Process / Performance: A Reading Companion to Goat Island’s ‘When will the September roses bloom?’ (2004/2005). With Lada Čale Feldman he co-edited Actor as/and Author double-issue for Frakcija/Fraction (2001), and MIS-performance for Performance Research (including DVD On PSi#15 Shifts, co-edited with Una Bauer, 2010). His edited books include: Branko Gavella: Teorija glume – od materijala do ličnosti (Branko Gavella: Theory of Acting – From Material to Personality, 2005; co-edited with Nikola Batušić; English translation forthcoming in 2022); a collection of essays titled No, on the Slovenian performance-theatre company Via Negativa (2011), and MISperformance, Essays on Shifting Perspectives, co-edited with Lada Čale Feldman (2014, http://www.maska.si). Authored books: Razgovori o novom kazalištu (Conversations on the New Theatre, 2007) and Izboren poraz: novo kazalište u hrvatskom glumištu od Gavelle do… (A Defeat Won: New Theatre in Croatian Theatre from Gavella to…, 2012) on the theory and practice of new theatre and its peculiar history in Croatia. He is currently working on the book The Breadth and Shifts of Dramaturgy for an international publisher.
In 2011, Marin Blažević was awarded the Fulbright Scholar Postdoctoral Grant and conducted a research-project titled Dramaturgy: Shifting Concept and Practice at both Columbia University (Theatre Arts – Dramaturgy) and New York University (Performance Studies department).
For almost a decade Marin Blažević was closely affiliated with Performance Studies international (PSi), a worldwide association of more than thousand artists and academics in the interdisciplinary field of performing arts and their studies. One of his main projects was organizing and programming – in the capacity of conference director and in collaboration with Lada Čale Feldman – the highly acclaimed 15th annual conference of Performance Studies international (Zagreb 2009) on the original concept and creative practice of MISperformance. Subsequently, from 2012 to 2015 he worked as a dramaturge, principal organizer and director on a complex, innovative and dispersed PSi conference under the title Fluid States – Performances of UnKnowing. The multi-conference took place throughout 2015 in diverse locations around the world, from Montreal and Panama City to the Bahamas; from Copenhagen and Santorini in Greece to New Delhi, Melbourne, Manila, Tohoku in Japan, Rarotonga in Cook Islands and elsewhere (http://www.fluidstates.org). Besides, Marin served for two terms on the Board of Directors of PSi, where he also assumed the role of Chair of PSi’s International Committee and co-founded a new PSi Working Group – Dramaturgy & Performance Studies (in 2012, with Peter Eckersall).
In autumn 2014 Marin Blažević accepted the invitation to take over the role of Artistic Director of the Opera Company of Croatian National Theater (CNT) in Rijeka. However, already in 2016, he was appointed General Manager and Artistic Director of the CNT in Rijeka, starting in January 2017. His second term began in January 2021 and will last until the end of 2024.
Marin Blažević’s work as dramaturge includes drama and devised theater projects as well as operas (The Bacchae, Miss Julie, Who the Fuck is Marko Mandić?, Trilogy on Croatian Fascism, Carmen, Rigoletto, reCallas). His awarded collaborative theater project with Oliver Frljić, Aleksandra Zec (2014), was touring internationally around Europe, and so did Your Violence and Our Violence (also directed by Oliver Frljić), as a coproduction of numerous partners, including Wiener Festwochen, CNT in Rijeka and “Mladinsko” Theatre in Ljubljana.
More recently, Marin Blažević devoted himself to staging operas: Händel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto (2016 and 2020 in CNT Rijeka; 2017 in Cankar Hall, Ljubljana; 2022 at Savonlinna Opera Festival); awarded productions of Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff were presented as a hypothetical Verdi-Shakespeare Trilogy (CNT Rijeka, 2017, 2018); Aida (produced for Summer Classics Festival in the ancient Roman Arena in Pula, 2018 and 2019); Carmen (jointly staged with Selma Banich, Sandra Dekanić and Alan Vukelić, also for Summer Classics Festival in Pula, 2019); Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (co-production of the CNT Rijeka and Ravenna Manifestazioni – Teatro Alighieri, 2019); Strauss’ Elektra (2019, CNT Rijeka in partnership with Cankar Hall in Ljubljana and Slovenian Philharmonic); Tosca (CNT Rijeka, 2019); La traviata, produced in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and against all the odds (CNT Rijeka, 2021).
In 2020 Marin Blažević made an excurse in (or rather – return to) drama theatre when directing Practicing Life – Second Time, a theatrical saga on the complex and partly invented micro-history of Rijeka, based on the novel Vježbanje života / Practicing Life by Nedjeljko Fabrio.
Marin Blažević’s future projects include Feruccio Busoni’s meta-opera Arlecchino (2022, coproduction of Opera CNT in Rijeka and Opera CNT in Osijek; also touring to Savonlinna Festival 2022); followed by Erwartung (2022, CNT Rijeka and “Lisinski Hall” Zagreb, in partnership with Zagreb Philharmonic); and Don Carlo (2023, coproduction of CNT Rijeka and Opera of the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor). His Tosca will tour to Opera Maribor in fall 2021, Elektra to Cankar Hall in Ljubljana and Romeo et Juliette to Opera Ljubljana in spring 2022, while Giulio Cesare in Egitto will tour to Savonlinna Festival in summer 2022.