News – Ring Award

Isabel Ostermann © Thomas Bartilla


From 12 to 28 June 2015 the Music Festival Potsdam Sanssouci invites its visitors to take a musical stroll through the castles and gardens of Potsdam and enjoy the mixture of auditory pleasure, visual delights and sensual passion that can be experienced in the harmony of the arts.

Isabel Ostermann, finalist at the RING AWARD’s first edition in 1997 and assistant to director luminaries such as Peter Konwitschny, Christoph Marthaler, Christoph Schlingensief, and Andreas Homoki, has meanwhile become the Personal Referent of Intendant Jürgen Flimm and Artistic Production Manager of the Schiller Theater Studio at the State Opera Unter den Linden. In addition to her diverse activities as a director she also serves as a jury member at several renowned competitions for singing and stage direction.

On 13 June she will contribute to the Potsdam Music Festival and produce Alessandro Scarlatti‘s mini-opera “IL GIARDINO D’AMORE” as well as Johann Sebastian Bach’s “BAUERNKANTATE” (“‘PEASANT’ CANTATA”) on the stage of the Schinkel Hall, the famous historical riding stable based on drafts by Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

On 16 June a new opportunity will arise to experience productions by Ostermann of “EUROPERAS III & IV” at the State Opera at Schiller Theater in which one can trace composer John Cage as an avant-garde mastermind and spiritus rector of Fluxus.

Kirschgarten © Chris Rogl


Esther Muschol, RING AWARD 05 semifinalist, was highly acclaimed by both press and audiences for her Austrian premiere of the stage version of Juli Kuh’s criminal story, „SCHILF“ („REEDS”), at Kosmostheater and also found an enthusiastic response to her staging of the erotic and deadly ménage-à-trois, “DER WEIBSTEUFEL” (“THE SHE-DEVIL”), at Theater Phönix in Linz. She has now produced Anton Chekhov’s last play at Schauspielhaus Salzburg.

Chekhov’s “THE CHERRY ORCHARD” conveys intimations of parting, doom and death, but at the same time is one of his most comedic and grotesque plays. The Russian playwright is able to combine an economic and political analysis of society with the depiction of the tragically failed lives of his characters and thus anticipates the sea change of the 20th century.

Opening on 7 May 2015.


Love, marriage, life-long faithfulness

Dutch stage director Jim Lucassen was the winner of the Theater Heidelberg Special Award at the RING AWARD 08 competition for his conception of Verdi’s RIGOLETTO. He presented his promising draft at Oper Graz and Komische Oper Berlin. Together with two further RING AWARD teams, he took up the challenge of crossing the Atlantic and at the invitation of Austrian Cultural Forum New York (acfny) presented his conception in New York to guests from acfny, the NY Wagner Society, and the MET.

Next he will be in charge of producing Mozart’s COSI FAN TUTTE at Opéra de Limoges, a production that was shown already 2012 at Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy.  Opening night on May 10th.

Christiane Lutz, Natascha Maraval (c) Atelier 9

Hard Times for Death

The RING AWARD team Christiane Lutz and Natascha Maraval, who at the big Schauspielhaus Graz finals won the Supplementary Prize of the RING AWARD jury (EURO 2.000) and were offered a production at the Theater an der Wien (RINALDO), will be guests at the Semperoper Dresden during the season 2015/16. They will be staging DER KAISER VON ATLANTIS (THE EMPEROR OF ATLANTIS) at Semper 2, the opera house’s studio theatre (opening on 19 February 2016). In this chamber opera of 1943, Viktor Ullmann, a composer and student of Schoenberg’s, allegorically addresses Nazi horror delusions and unsparingly prompts burning questions of the time. He was deported to Auschwitz on 16 October 1944 and subsequently murdered in the gas chambers.

Nora Schmid & Heinz Weyringer

Nora Schmid Newly in Charge of Oper Graz

Oper Graz, from the beginning a loyal partner of RING AWARD and with its assembly hall the site of all its semifinals, is one of the most notable opera houses in the German-speaking countries and has been nominated at this year’s International Opera Awards in the category ‘best opera ensemble’.
On 14 April 2015 Intendant Elect Nora Schmid, Chief Conductor Dirk Kaftan, and Ballet Director Elect Jörg Weinöhl informed the spedcialised press about their programme for the upcoming season 2015/16. 

Nora Schmid in Conversation

On the very same day an attentive audience had the additional special opportunity of learning more about the new season and about Intendant Elect Nora Schmid’s artistic views and visions. Heinz Weyringer, RING AWARD Intendant and WAGNER FORUM GRAZ Chairman, opened his home for an exclusive exchange of ideas, moderated by Ernst Naredi-Rainer, senior cultural editor of Kleine Zeitung, in which Nora Schmid provided insight into her artistic plans, expectations and dreams.

From Baroque Music to World Premières

Graz audiences can look forward to many innovations, partly to works that have never been performed here before, but also to what is well-known and already dear to them: the main stage will see ten new productions and one concert opera performance, and three productions will be shown at the studio stage. Throughout the programme will be in the hands of new stage directors.

In her first season at Oper Graz Nora Schmid would like to establish special links with the city of Graz: “In cooperation with my artistic partners I have developed a colourful repertoire for my first season at Oper Graz that in terms of both music and themes is specially geared to Graz. I wish that the stories we will present to Graz audiences will be stimulating, will elicit lively discussions, will touch and possibly irritate them, but will also entertain them.”



How can one effectively stage “DER FREISCHÜTZ” (“THE MARKSMAN”)?

Three young RING AWARD 14 teams followed an invitation by Peter Spuhler, General Intendant of Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe and long-standing RING AWARD jury member, and presented their creative ideas and staging conceptions for “DER FREISCHÜTZ”. In lively group discussions with internationally renowned theatre experts they developed their ideas about how to put this work onto the stage. The participating RING AWARD teams were the semifinalists Daniela Kerck (Germany) & Hannah König (Austria) and Sandra Pocceschi (France) & Cristina Nyffeler (Switzerland) as well as the RING AWARD 14 winners, Verena Stoiber & Sophia Schneider, both from Germany. This highly successful and innovative event was very well received and strengthened the cooperation between Staatstheater Karlsruhe and RING AWARD.

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