Presse Introducing the Semifinal Teams

Introducing the Semifinal Teams

RING AWARD 20 – 25 YEARS OF RING AWARD in Graz / Austria

9th International Competition for Stage Direction and Design in Musical Theatre

GET IN THE RING – a record number of 126 teams with 326 participants from 32 nations followed our call and submitted their stage direction and stage design concepts for the competition opera “Don Giovanni” by 19 August 2019.

RING AWARD Intendant Heinz Weyringer:

“We were overwhelmed by the large number of submissions from all five continents. This proves that the interest of young artists in musical theatre is still rising. Our unique platform acts as a successful international stepping stone for young talents – from local theatres to the Bayreuth Festival. We are very pleased about this and also a little proud. ”

The RING AWARD jury, consisting of 20 renowned Intendants and experts of musical theatre from all over Europe, travelled to Graz for the 1st round of the competition to judge all submissions at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. These are their favourite teams and our semifinalists:

The 9 Semifinal Teams of the RING AWARD 20 are (in alphabetical order):


  1. Mien Bogaert (BEL) / Dennis Peschke (DEU)
  2. Tristan Braun (DEU) / Christian Blechschmidt (DEU) / Adrian Stapf (DEU)
  3. Alicia Geugelin (DEU) / Christin Schumann (DEU) / Pia Preuß (DEU) / Elise Schobeß (DEU)
  4. Krystian Lada (POL) / Didzis Jaunzems (LVA) / Natalia Kitamikado (POL)
  5. Olga Poliakova (ROU/BLR) / Emilie Delanne (FRA) / Amelie Lauret (FRA) / Hélène Vergnes (FRA)
  6. Rafael Rodriguez Villalobos (ESP) / Emanuele Sinisi (ITA)
  7. Nina Russi (CHE) / Julia Katharina Berndt (DEU)
  8. Anika Rutkofsky (DEU) / Eleni Konstantatou (GRC) / Johanna Danhauser (DEU)
  9. Jasmin Sarah Zamani (AUT) / Stefan Czura (DEU) / Linda Hofmann (DEU)

This means the RING AWARD Semifinal boasts 26 participants, 16 woman and 10 men, from the fields of stage directing, stage design, costume design and dramaturgy. Participants come from 11 nations:  Germany (13), France (3) Poland (2) , Austria (1), Belgium (1), Greece (1), Italy (1), Latvia (1), Romania (1), Spain (1), and Switzerland (1).


Are you ready for ROUND 2?

The 9 semifinal teams have time until 9 January 2020 to get ready. Then round 2 will begin with probational rehearsals, concept talks and feasibility studies in front of the jury.

On 11 January 2020 we invite the interested public to cheer on the teams for their presentations at Next Liberty, Graz.


The RING AWARD 20 Semifinal

When: 11 January 2020

Where: Next Liberty, Graz, Austria

  • 9 completely different stage directing and design concepts of one and the same opera, thrillingly presented in 20 minutes each
  • 9 detailed set design models with costume sketches
  • 1 Audience Award: EUR 1.000 (sponsored by Wagner Forum Graz)
  • 3 teams will be nominated for the competition final

Round 3 – the RING AWARD 20 Final – takes place on 27 and 28 June 2020 at Schauspielhaus Graz.


25 Years of RING AWARD

The foundation of the Wagner Forum Graz in 1995 marks also the birth of the RING AWARD Competition. To promote young talents the RING AWARD was forged by Heinz Weyringer, who is now, with the RING AWARD 20, leading the competition into its successful 25th year.


Stepping Stone for Young Artists, or From the RING AWARD to the “Ring”

Ever since its first competition in 1997 the RING AWARD has established itself as an international stepping stone for young talents in the musical theatre. Among the well-known winners are David Hermann, Isabel Ostermann, or Tatjana Gürbaca. Recently the RING AWARD 17 winners Valentin Schwarz und Andrea Cozzi made headlines when it was announced that they will work on a new production of the “Ring of the Nibelung” for the Bayreuth Festival in 2020. In this they follow the example of the RING AWARD 08 winners Tobias Kratzer und Rainer Sellmaier, who opened the Bayreuth Festival season of 2019 with their new production of “Tannhäuser”.


Hard Facts of the RING AWARD 20

  • 9th International Competition for Stage Direction and Design
  • 126 teams
  • 326 participants
  • 2/3 of the participants are female
  • 32 nations from 5 continents
  • most submissions from Germany (125) followed by Italy (45), Austria (24), Russia (23) and France (20)
  • the jury consists of 20 renowned European intendants and experts in musical theatre (see below)
  • total amount of cash flow: EUR 52.500


For the first time at the RING AWARD…

  • …a record number of participants: 40% more submissions than for the last RING AWARD
  • …there are distinctly (36%) more women also in the field of stage direction
  • …there are participants from South Africa, Australia, Syria, and Cuba
  • …participants are also working (apart from in stage direction, stage/costume design, and dramaturgy) in the fields of choreography, composition, video art, sound design, or 3D mapping


Timetable of the RING AWARD 20

  • 11 January 2020: Semifinal at Next Liberty, Graz (for teams: 9–11 January 2020)

3 teams will be nominated for the competition final, 1 Audience Award

  • 27–28 June 2020: 3 premieres in 24 hours at Schauspielhaus Graz

Winner of the “RING AWARD“ and all other winners will be announced


Prizes awarded at the RING AWARD 20


Audience Award: EUR 1.000

Competition Final:

1st Prize: “RING AWARD“: a stage production with stage design at one of the stages of Bühnen Graz, donated by Oper Graz, EUR 2.000

2nd Prize: EUR 2.000

3rd Prize: EUR 2.000

Traditionally, additional special prizes for stage productions with stage designs are awarded by several theatres and opera houses.


Photos (c) Susanne Hassler