News – Ring Award

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.



The German-French stage director David Hermann, who in 2000 won the first prize at the big RING AWARD finals for his interpretation of Wagner’s “PARSIFAL”, is now bringing out “LA TRAVIATA” at Oper Zürich. This follows other productions at notable opera houses, such as Oper Bonn, Oper Frankfurt, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatstheater Nürnberg, Theater Luzern, Theater Basel, Semperoper Dresden, and Teatro Real in Madrid. He had his debut at the Salzburg Festival with Mozart’s “ASCANIO IN ALBA”, which was originally produced at Nationaltheater Mannheim. Now he dedicates himself to Verdi’s probably most popular opera, whose music most powerfully vacillates between the poles of love and death. 
Opening night on 18th of April. 

Ariadne auf Naxos von Evelyn De Morgan


Holger Müller-Brandes was the very first winner, in 1997, of the RING AWARD, and with this he started his international career as a notable stage director. Though a specialist in contemporary musical theatre (among others,  “DIE PASSAGIERIN“ (“THE PASSENGER”) at Staatstheater Karlsruhe, the submarine opera “DIE FARBE DES WASSERS“ (“THE COLOUR OF WATER”)  at the town pool Berlin-Neukölln), he also again and again dedicates himself to the classical repertory, such as Mozart’s “Così fan tutte“ and “Die Entführung aus dem Serail“ (“THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO”), “La Cenerentola“ by Rossini, Weber’s “Der Freischütz“ (“THE MARKSMAN”), Wagner’s “Der fliegende Holländer“ (“THE FLYING DUTCHMAN”) and the fairy opera “Hänsel und Gretel“ by Humperdinck.

From 19 April 2015 his production of Strauss’s “ARIADNE AUF NAXOS” can be seen at Theater Luzern.

Der Goldene Hahn


Nikolaus Webern, who in 2011 with his stage design for a new reading of the operetta “DIE FLEDERMAUS” (THE BAT”) won the “”, now together with stage director Johannes Pölzgutter enters Alexander Pushkin’s dreamlike fairy-world at the Saarländisches Staatstheater Saarbrücken. He designs the sets for Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov’s opera “THE GOLDEN COCK” (“LE COQ D’OR”), which combines Russian folklore and fairy dreams as well as fantastic and everyday elements. At the same time this Russian jewel based on Pushkin’s eponymous fairytale is a biting satire that throws penetrating light on military incompetence, aristocratic stupidity, and political corruption.
Opening night on March 14th 

L'Enfant et les Sortilèges

With a Child’s Eyes

The French stage director Sandra Pocceschi, who together with her Swiss team mate Cristina Nyffeler just missed entering the RING AWARD 14 finals, now shows her interpretation of Ravel’s “L’ENFANT ET LES SORTILÈGES“ at the Opéra National de Montpellier.  Maurice Ravel’s gem of an opera, which is influenced by jazz and popular music, offers a survey of episodes and styles full of love of life and poetry with the eyes of a child.

Opening night 26 February. 

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