Since 1986, Marko Japelj has been a freelance set designer with nearly two hundred performances in Slovenia and abroad. His first stage design was for Hedda Gabler at the Academy for Theatre and film in Ljubljana, 1986, his scenographic debut in professional theatre was the production of Three sisters (Drama of National Theatre in Maribor, 1987). For his creations he has received several awards. His collaboration with choereographers Valentina Turcu and Edward Clug started with the famous performance Tango. With Valentina Turcu he has designed the stage for La Callas, Romeo and Juliet, for Edward Clug are designs for Radio and Juliet, Pret a Porter, Architecture of Silence, Rite of the Spring, Les Noces, Hill Harper’s Dream, Chamber Minds, Peer Gynt and others.
He has been a guest designer in many theatres, among them in National Operas in Maribor, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Belgrade, Bucarest, Bratislava, Zuerich, Aalto Ballet in Essen, theatres in Augsburg, Wuppertal, Triest, Cardiff, Flanders Ballet in Antwerpen.
From 1995 to 1997 he was a visiting professor and Head of the Department of Theatre and film design at the Vienna University for Applied Arts.