Since 1986, MARKO JAPELJ has been a freelance set designer with almost three hundred performances in Slovenia and abroad. He studied architecture in Ljubljana, his first stage design was Hedda Gabler at the Academy for Theatre and Film in Ljubljana. His scenographic debut at a professional theatre was the production Chechov: Three Sisters at the National Drama Theatre Maribor (1987).
For drama, opera, ballet and modern dance performances he has designed set designs at National Theatres in Slovenia, National Theatres Zagreb and Rijeka in Croatia, Belgrade (Serbia) and Podgorica (Montenegro), Opera Bucharest, Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava, National theatre in Brno, Opera Zuerich, Aalto music Theatre in Essen, designs for ballet in theatres Darmstadt, Wiesbaden, Augsburg, Wuppertal, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Opera Leipzig, Royal Ballet of Flanders, NDT 1 in Den Haag, Opera Metz, West Australian Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, NOVAT Novosibirsk, Vienna State Opera, Bolshoi Theater, Birmingham Royal Ballet and others. For around 20 productions he has worked with the choreographer Edward Clug. He is the author of stage designs for the ballet productions Romeo and Juliet, Peer Gynt and Don Juan at the Latvian National Opera and Ballet.
For his creations, he has received several national and international awards. From 1995 to 1997 he has been a visiting professor and head of the Department of Theatre and Film Set Design at the Vienna University of Applied Arts.