News – Ring Award 2014
Successful RING AWARD 08 Participant Jim Lucassen opens the season 2013/14 at Oper Frankfurt
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.
As the winner of RING AWARD 08 Special Award he was hired by Theater Heidelberg to do “his” RIGOLETTO in 2009. This premiere at Theater Heidelberg was also Lucassen’s successful debut in Germany. The production was adopted by Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe and staged in November 2011. On 24 September he was in charge of producing Mozart’s COSI FAN TUTTE at Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy an on 9 September he staged Jules Massenet’s WERTHER at Salzburger Landestheater.
Further challenging projects are awaiting the young director, who was assistant to Robert Carsen, Peter Sellars, Harry Kupfer, Ursel & Karl-Ernst Hermann, among others. In September 2013 he will open the season 2013/14 at Frankfurt, one of Europe’s leading opera houses, with Dvořák’s RUSALKA.
Holger Müller-Brandes stages the German premiere of DIE PASSAGIERIN (THE PASSENGER) by Mieczysław Weinberg
Holger Müller-Brandes, in 1997 first winner of the RING AWARD, counts contemporary musical theatre among his favourite fields of activity. He has already worked as a stage director for Kulturfabrik Kampnagel in Hamburg, for Oper Graz, and for Staatsoper Hamburg.
At Karlsruhe he will now turn to a political subject. Based on the famous Auschwitz novel, DIE PASSAGIERIN (THE PASSENGER) by Zofia Posmysz, the Polish composer Mieczysław Weinberg wrote the eponymous opera, which was completed in 1968 but premiered only in 2006 at a concert performance in Moscow. It finally had its scenic premiere in 2010 at Bregenz Festival. Staatstheater Karlsruhe now follows with the German premiere, in continuation of the series ‘Political Opera’, which started with Erkki-Sven Tüür’s WALLENBERG. WALLENBERG was produced by director Tobias Kratzer and designer Rainer Sellmaier, both the winning team of RING AWARD 2008.
18 May 2013 will see Holger Müller-Brandes’s premiere of DIE PASSAGIERIN, a work centring on the highly emotionally charged encounter on an ocean liner of the former SS-controller Lisa and the KZ-prisoner Martha. Müller-Brandes will be assisted in this production by the visual artist Philipp Fürhofer, who worked with stage director Stefan Herheim in Amsterdam and at Covent Garden and who will create an abstract-magical stage area for this German premiere.
Vera Nemirova, stage director, born in Bulgaria, and master disciple of Peter Konwitschny, won the RING AWARD in 2000 and the Encouragement Prize of the ‘Musical Theatre Today’ Academy sponsored by the Bank of Germany in 2002. In March 2006 she received the Art Award Berlin of the Berlin Academy of Arts, section Performing Arts. Her productions were nominated several times by the leading German journal ‘Opernwelt’. Vera Nemirova is well known to many opera fans and to the international press by her highly acclaimed interpretation of Wagner’s RING OF THE NIBELUNG at Frankfurt Opera. Her much-discussed tetralogy (starting with THE RHINEGOLD in May 2010) saw its completion and culmination in THE TWILIGHT OF THE GODS on 29 January 2012. The opening night’s audience enthusiastically welcomed the production, which has meanwhile reached a cult status as the famous ‘RING with the disks’.
On the occasion of Richard Wagner’s 200th birthday, a new production of TRISTAN AND ISOLDE is planned to come out. After her earlier Bonn successes with MACBETH, FAUST, and L’ELISIR D’AMORE, Nemirova now returns to Bonn, with Stefan Blunier, who conducted TANNHÄUSER at Bonn during the 2009/2010 season, joining her as the musical director.
TRISTAN AND ISOLDE, which was originally considered ‘unperformable’, has since its world premiere at the Munich Court Theatre in 1865 been seen as a pioneering key work of the New Music and is representative for Wagner’s innovative form of the music drama. On 28 April 2013, Vera Nemirova will stage Wagner’s psychological masterwork in Bonn.
Esther Muschol, RING AWARD 05 semifinalist, stages Karl Schönherr’s DER WEIBSTEUFEL at Theater Phönix in Linz.
On 30 October 2012, Esther Muschol’s Austrian first production of Juli Zeh’s detective story SCHILF was highly acclaimed by both press and audience at Kosmostheater in Vienna.
In January the young Munich director started her work at Linz and staged Schönherr’s Alpine ménage-à-trois of desire and exploitation at Theater Phönix. The opening night of DER WEIBSTEUFEL took place on 24 January.
Tatjana Gürbaca, Opera Director of Staatstheater Mainz and 2000 RING AWARD winner, stages PARSIFAL at Vlaamse Opera, Antwerpen. Birgit Meyer, Intendant Oper Köln, also presents an exciting new PARSIFAL at her own house.
Tatjana Gürbaca, who was several times nominated ‚Stage Director of the Year’ by the journal ‘Opernwelt’, was winner in the finals of RING AWARD 2000 and subsequently staged TURANDOT at Oper Graz. Gürbaca studied stage direction at Hochschule für Musik ‚Hanns Eisler’ in Berlin. Her training was completed in master classes of Ruth Berghaus and Peter Konwitschny, among others. Since the 2011/1012 season she has been Opera Director of Staatstheater Mainz, also responsible for a number of new productions.
On 26 March 2013 she will have her opening night of PARSIFAL at Vlaamse Opera, Antwerpen. Both Antwerpen’s own Intendant Aviel Cahn and Tatjana Gürbaca are members of the RING AWARD 14 Theatre Jury.
29 March 2013 will see the opening night of the next PARSIFAL production, this time at Oper Köln. Stage director Carlus Padrissa was born in Barcelona and co-founder of LA FURA DELS BAUS, the legendary theatre company that is known world-wide and has participated in many big events – among them the opening of the Olympic Games in Barcelona. Padrissa is the Artistic Director of the ship NAUMON, which has been converted into a swimming cultural centre. Now he is putting Wagner’s last opera onto the stage of Oper Köln, whose Intendant, Birgit Meyer, is also a member of the RING AWARD 14 Theatre Jury.
RING AWARD 11 Finalist Team, Director Sam Brown und designer Annemarie Woods, produce Johann Strauss’ ZIGEUNERBARON at Stadttheater Klagenfurt
At RING AWARD 11, Sam Brown and Annemarie Woods had enthusiastic responses to their concept of Johann Strauss’ FLEDERMAUS (THE BAT) from press, audience and the juries. In addition they received an invitation to Theater Luzern. In 2012 their stage concept of Bellini’s I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI won the first prize at the sixth European Competition for Opera Direction. This production will get further performances at the opera houses of Brescia, Como, Pavia, and Verona. Following Brown’s debut as director at Bayerische Staatsoper München, again jointly with designer Annemarie Woods staging SIGURD DER DRACHENTÖTER (SIGURD THE DRAGON SLAYER), the native Englishman will return to Austria.
On 2 December 2012 he staged DER ZIGEUNERBARON at Stadttheater Klagenfurt. This production can be seen until 23 February. Save your tickets soon.