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News – Ring Award


Preparations for the next RING AWARD have begun

Which opera will be chosen this time?

Who will be the members of the jury?

Who will win over the jury with their innovative concepts?

Stay tuned for news right here and on facebook.


More RING AWARD prizes

Additional Prizes

Additional prizes of offers for stage productions are awarded by the following theatres and operas:

Semperoper Dresden prize, awarded by the designated director, Peter Theiler
Team B: Barbora Horáková Joly (CZ) / Cornelia Schmidt (D)

Two Theater an der Wien prizes, awarded by the director, Roland Geyer
Team C: Valentin Schwarz (A) / Andrea Cozzi (I)
Stage director Sergei Morozov (RUS), Team A

Staatstheater Cottbus prize, awarded by the director, Martin Schüler
Team C: Valentin Schwarz (A) / Andrea Cozzi (I)

Opéra et Orchestre National Montpellier prize, awarded by the director, Valérie Chevalier
Team C: Valentin Schwarz (A) / Andrea Cozzi (I)

Deutscher Oper Berlin prize, awarded by the director, Dietmar Schwarz
Semifinal-Team: Wolfgang Nägele (D) / Hannah König (A) / Isabelle Bischof (CH)

Operá de Lyon prize, awarded by the director, Serge Dorny
Serge Dorny
Team B: Barbora Horáková Joly (CZ) / Cornelia Schmidt (D) 

Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe prize, awarded by the director, Peter Spuhler
Team C: Valentin Schwarz (A) / Andrea Cozzi (I)

Winners 2017

The Award Winners 2017

"RING AWARD 2017 – Province of Styria Prize"
€3,000, including an offer from OPER GRAZ for a stage production with stage design at one of the stages of Bühnen Graz, decided by the RING AWARD Jury
Team C: Valentin Schwarz (A) / Andrea Cozzi (I)

From the RING AWARD Jury statement, Chair Nora Schmid
“The vote of the RING AWARD Jury was unanimous: our winning team is Team C, Valentin Schwarz and Andrea Cozzi. There were many reasons for choosing this team. The cabinet of wonders, which they created as a set for their adaption of “Don Pasquale”, their historically reflective approach, the colliding worlds, and finally the slapstick all combined to convince us. I smiled and laughed a lot and won’t forget the rhinoceros, with Norina on its back, being pulled across the stage any time soon. I am looking forward to interesting discussions and to finding a piece fitting their production at Oper Graz.”

"City of Graz Prize"
€3,000, decided by the Theatre Jury
Team B: Barbora Horáková Joly (CZ) / Cornelia Schmidt (D)

From the Theatre Jury statement, Chair Irish Laufenberg
“The Theatre Jury has selected Team B, Barbora Horáková Joly and Cornelia Schmidt. With their interpretation of the first act of “Don Pasquale” they managed to implement a concept which is subtly contemporary as well as culturally and politically sensitive, but nevertheless able to revive elements of the commedia dell’arte. Furthermore, they convinced us with minutely detailed stage direction and a keen ear for Donizetti’s musical structure.”

Recognition Free
€7,000, for each of the three finals teams

Tag 1: RING AWARD Finale 2017

Tag 1 des FINALE des RING AWARD 2017 und Verleihung des zweiten MORTIER AWARD an Markus Hinterhäuser hieß es am Samstag, den 24. Juni, im Schauspielhaus Graz. Im Jahr seines 20jährigen Bestehens und in der inzwischen 8. Ausgabe des internationalen Wettbewerbes für Regie und Bühnengestaltung findet auch 2017 in zweitägiges FINALE im Schauspielhaus statt, in dem drei jungen Regie-Teams ihre Version des 1. Aktes einer der Wettbewerbsoper (2017: "Don Pasquale") zwei hochkarätig besetzen Jurys, Publikum und Presse präsentieren. Fotos: Lupi Spuma.


Markus Hinterhäuser is the second recipient of the MORTIER AWARD

MARKUS HINTERHÄUSER, pianist and artistic director of the Salzburg Festival, is the second recipient of the MORTIER AWARD for music theatre. The Award, a bronze sculpture of Sisyphus, created by Berlin artist Alexander Polzin, will be presented to him at Graz Schauspielhaus on June 24, 2017. The American stage director PETER SELLARS will give the laudatory speech.

Markus Hinterhäuser won acclaim not only as a distinguished explorer of modern piano works and sensitive accompanist of lied singers but also as an innovative initiator and curator of highly successful music programmes. Encouraged by Gerard Mortier, then Artistic Director of the Salzburg Festival, he organized (along with Thomas Zierhofer-Kin) the “Zeitfluss” concert series (1993-2000). Starting in 2007 he curated the complete concert programmes, in 2011 he was interim Artistic Director of the Salzburg Festival. Following a three-year-intermezzo as Artistic Director of the Wiener Festwochen, he is now Intendant of the Salzburg Summer Festival.

Markus Hinterhäuser is an artist impresario who, with his intellectual intuition, manages time and again to explore uncharted terrain for the eye and the ear. Like Gerard Mortier, his first mentor, he is a sharp-minded dreamer who believes firmly in the humanistic power of the arts. Relaxed curiosity, smiling enthusiasm, uncompromised competence, open dialogue – with these features he has been winning over artists and audience alike.

The MORTIER AWARD honours personalities who are devoted in an exemplary way to a form of music theatre that is in touch with our times.

In addition to the MORTIER AWARD, a new YOUNG ARTIST AWARD is to be presented every two years to an emerging artist. The YOUNG ARTIST AWARD involves a scholarship financed by donors and sponsors. It is aimed at newcomers who, following Gerard Mortier’s example, are devoted to historically informed innovations in opera.

Introducing to you: the RING AWARD jury

Who will be the winner of the RING AWARD? The RING AWARD jury decides on that as well as on the Prize of the Province of Styria. Nora Schmid has taken over the chair of the RING AWARD jury. She studied in her home city, Berne, and in Rome. After that she gained first stage experiences in classical singing and was a music theatre dramaturg at various theatres. From the season 2015/16 Nora Schmid has been Intendant of Oper Graz.

Peter de Caluwe is Directeur Général at Théâtre royal de la Monnaie/De Munt in Brussels. He started his theatre-career in the field of public relations (e.g. with Gerard Mortier). Later he became the director of artistic administration at Netherlands’ Opera in Amsterdam and in 2005 Peter de Caluwe was appointed General Manager of La Monnaie|de Munt.

Another jury member is Serge Dorny. He is the Directeur Général of Opéra de Lyon. Dorny studied in Gent and worked for several years as music dramaturge under Gerard Mortier afterwards. 1989 he became Artist Director of the Flandern Festival. In 1996, he took up the position of Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and since 2003 he has been General Director of the Lyon National Opera House.

Roland Geyer, who is the Intendant of Theater an der Wien, studied mathematical economics and cultural management. He worked for several years as an IT analyst and later founded and led various festivals. From 2006 he has been Intendant of Theater an der Wien.

The stage director Peter Konwitschny has been staging productions in all German-speaking countries since 1980. He interpreted Handel’s and Wagner’s operas innovatively and won various prizes and awards e. g. he was five times honoured as “Stage Director of the Year”.

Another jury member is Dietmar Schwarz, the Intendant of Deutsche Oper Berlin. He studied in Berlin and Paris and started his theatre-career as a dramaturg. Later he was Opera Director in Mannheim and Basel and from 2012 he has been Intendant in Berlin.

Peter Spuhler is Generalintendant of Staatstheater Karlsruhe. He studied in Vienna and worked as a stage director and dramaturg. He has already been Intendant in Tübingen/Treutlingen and Heidelberg. With the season 2011/12 he became Generalintendant in Karlsruhe.

The stage designer Katrin Lea Tag was the winner of the very first RING AWARD competition. After she finished her studies, she has been working all over the world – from German-speaking countries to London and Los Angeles.

Albrecht Thiemann is an editor of the opera-journal “Opernwelt”. He first studied church music and worked as an organist. Later he assisted at a Jewish Human Rights Organisation in New York City, taught at several universities and wrote texts as a free-lance cultural journalist. In 2004 he started working at “Opernwelt”.

The Intendant of Oper Stuttgart is also part of the jury: Jossi Wieler studied in Tel Aviv. He started working as a stage director and won several prizes e. g. the German theatre-price DER FAUST. Since 2011/12 Jossi Wieler has been Intendant of Oper Stuttgart.

Katrin Lea Tag, Bühnengestalterin © Monika Rittershaus

Katrin Lea Tag: First winner of RING AWARD and now jury member!

Katrin Lea Tag was still studying when she took part in the very first RING AWARD competition. And: Together with director Holge Müller Brandes she won! After that she startet an international career as a costume and set designer. Katrin Lea Tag has worked all over the world – from German-speaking countries to London and Los Angeles. She staged many productions toghether with the directors Dimiter Gotscheff, Michael Thalheimer, Barrie Kosky, Hans Neuenfels und Christiane Pohle. You can see her design: „Adriane auf Naxos“ at Staatsoper am Schillerplatz, „Geschichten aus dem Wiener Wald“ at Deutsches Theater, „Carmen“ at Oper Frankfurt, oder premiering in june „Ödipus – vor der Stadt“ at Schauspiel Frankfurt. This year she is a RING AWARD jury member.

And the three teams in the RING AWARD FINAL are…

It was a long day but now it’s done – tonight, on the Next Liberty stage, three teams have been nominated to compete in the final of the RING AWARD 2017 in June. We congratulate the following winners:

Barbora Horáková Joly (CZ) / Cornelia Schmidt (D) 

Sergei Morozov  (RUS) / Aleksandra Alekseeva (RUS) 

Valentin Schwarz (A) / Andrea Cozzi (I)    

The audience prize goes:

Valentin Schwarz (A) / Andrea Cozzi (I)  

A big thank you to all who have helped us and to the team of Next Liberty, who have strongly supported us and made the semi-final weekend into an amazing event!

And now it’s time for more celebrating before we will start our preparations for the RING AWARD on Tour in Styria – more info to come soon on our website or right here on Facebook.

The first day is over – tomorrow is all about who makes it to the final!

 The first day of the semi-final weekend is over, tomorrow the teams will have to give their very best – in front of the RING AWARD jury and in front of the interested audience (entrance is free!).

In the evening the nominations for the final in June will be announced.

Do you have a favourite team? You, dear audience, can also cast your vote on Saturday, January 14th, and thus decide who will get the audience prize! So, ready, steady, go!

There can only be three: the countdown has started!


Suitcases are packed, set design models safely stored – within the next few hours the 11 teams of our semi-finalists 2017 will arrive.

Since 1997, more than 1200 people from 59 nations have participated in the triennial RING AWARD and have competed to be commissioned for a production at one of the stages of Bühnen Graz. Many of them now work successfully in the musical theatre – among the former finalists and awardees are Isabella Ostermann, Tatjana Gürbaca, Vera Nemirova, David Hermann, Tobias Kratzer, or Michael Schilhan, to name but a few.

The semi-final teams will receive a recognition fee and have the opportunity to get the audience prize, and of course one of the three nominations for the final at Schauspielhaus Graz in June 2017.

To be in the semi-final is already quite an achievement. In 2017, almost 100 talented young teams have participated, and only 11 were short-listed. A big hand for all the submitting teams, and especially for those 11 teams that made it to the semi-final! We are looking forward to meeting you and to your presentations on January 14th, starting at 10:30 am at the Next Liberty in Graz!

JANUARY 14th: 10 a.m. - SEMIFINAL

RING AWARD 2017 enters its second decisive phase. 89 teams, consisting of 200 participants from 24 countries, have entered 8th edition of our international competition for stage direction and stage design in the musical theatre. 2017 also marks the 20th anniversary of the RING AWARD. We proudly look back on 581 teams, consisting of altogether 1.239 participants from 49 countries.

The schedule for the semi-final on January 14th and the presentations of the 11 teams is the following:
Starting at 10.00 a.m. exhibition of the 11 set design models

10.30 a.m. – ca. 12.00 noon
.Andrea Bernard (I) / Alberto Beltrame (I) / Elena Beccaro (I)
.Barbora Horáková Joly (CZ) / Cornelia Schmidt (D)
.Luise Kautz (D) / Lani Tran Duc (F) / Hannah Barbara Bachmann (D)

12.15 p.m. – ca. 1.45 p.m.
.Béatrice Lachaussée (F) / Dominique Wiesbauer (A) / Nele Ellegiers (D)
.Claudia Isabel Martin (D) / Julia Katharina Berndt (D) / Janina Zell (D)
.Sergei Morozov (RUS) / Aleksandra Alekseeva (RUS)

2.45 p.m. – ca. 4.15 p.m.
.Wolfgang Nägele (D) / Hannah König (A) / Isabelle Bischof (CH)
.Jeanne Pansard-Besson (F) / Cléo Laigret (F) / Alice Anselmi (I)
.Morten K. Roesen (DK) / Karin Gille (SWE)

4.30 p.m. – ca. 5.30 p.m.
.Valentin Schwarz (A) / Andrea Cozzi (I)
.Yuliia Zhuravkova (UKR) / Bohdan Polishchuk (UKR)

at 5.30 pm the jury will go into session with the subsequent announcement of the 3 final teams and the winner of the audience award


January 13th: RING AWARD FORUM 7.30 p.m.

On the eve of the actual semi-final, Friday January 13th, we present a panel discussion, a cooperation of “Opernwelt” and RING AWARD: the RING AWARD FORUM.

The round-table discussion will be on the topic “Klangbilder Bildklänge : Neue Medien und das Musiktheater” (“Sound Images Visual Sounds : New Media and the Musical Theatre”). Chaired by Albrecht Thiemann (“Opernwelt”), high-profile participants Markus Hinterhäuser (intendant Salzburger Festspiele), Benedikt von Peter (intendant Luzern Theater), Roland Horvath (rocafilm), Momme Hinrichs (fettfilm), Johanna Dombois (author and director), and Chaya Czernowin (composer) will discuss the interaction between musical theatre and new media.

The round table will be in German.
Entrance is free. Admission is at 7:15 p.m., the beginning at 7:30 p.m.

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