News – Ring Award

Verleihung des Goldenen Ehrenzeichen für die Verdienste um die Republik Österreich (c) Bernd Weyringer

Splendid Occasion!

In 1997, the WAGNER FORUM GRAZ with its chairman Heinz Weyringer developed the idea of initiating the RING AWARD, an international competition for the musical theatre, in contrast to similar initiatives with a special focus on stage direction and set design. The RING AWARD is still the only institution of its kind worldwide and offers young artists a professional platform for theatre work with a practical orientation giving them the opportunity of finding an international resonance for their views of what the musical theatre of today should be like.

Intendant Heinz Weyringer has now been given the Golden Medal for his services to the Republic of Austria by the Federal President, Heinz Fischer, in recognition of his longstanding intensive encouragement of the creative innovation potential in the contemporary musical theatre. On 10 May 2015, Heinz Weyringer received this significant official decoration through the hands of the Styrian State Governor, Franz Voves, at the Aula of the Old University of Graz. In 2010 Heinz Weyringer has already received the Great Medal of the Province of Styria.


Marilyn Monroe

Being Marilyn

With “DISPLACE MARILYN MONROE“ Christoph Rodatz, together with the collective I CAN BE YOUR TRANSLATOR, is trying to come closer to that icon, Marilyn Monroe, who even fifty years after her death has lost none of her glamour, enchantment, and contrariness. What emerges is a heterogeneous and tragicomic scenario consisting of choreographies, narrations, improvisations, and scenic elements. The still alive legend serves as a projection space for the performers’ involvement with their self-awareness and perception of others and admits of making almost tangible the brokenness of this female character.

Christoph Rodatz, who participated in the RING AWARD 2000, work incorporates musical theatre, video art, and cabaret, and meanwhile also teaches at the Design Department of Fachhochschule Dortmund. “DISPLACE MARILYN MONROE“ to be seen at Haus der Jugend Barmen (14.06.) & Schauspiel Dortmund (17.06.).

Madama Butterfly

‘Madama Falstaff‘

The Styrian set designer Nicolaus Webern, who at the RING AWARD 2011 together with director Morten K. Roesen and costume designer Carla Caminati won the competition, from 13 June 2015 will dip into the depths of a legendary Far Eastern romance. At Theater Regensburg he will be responsible for the stage design of “MADAMA BUTTERFLY”, probably the most lyrical of Puccini’s operas.

Webern will then be called to Staatstheater Karlsruhe by RING AWARD jury member and Intendant Peter Spuhler to stage Verdi’s “FALSTAFF”. Opening on 12 July 2015.

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.

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