The remarkable success of the previous, triannually held competitions of 1997, 2000 and 2003 has encouraged the organisers to hold the next International Competition for Stage Direction and Design already after two years, in 2005.
This competition will again offer young artists - who form production teams of one stage director and one stage designer each - an opportunity to subject themselves to the verdict of acknowledged international experts. As in 2003, there will be three juries judging the candidates: separate juries will select winners for the Ring Award, the Press Award, and the Theatre Award.
This competition is still the only one of its kind worldwide reflecting the most recent developments in the art of staging music theatre and giving young artists the chance of finding international resonance for their views of what music theatre should be like today.
In continuation of “cyberstaging” and “musiktheater.remixed” from earlier competitions, this time the contestants will be able to choose “stageXplorer” as an optional alternative experimental branch of the competition in which they may realise their most innovative ideas about how to put music theatre on the stage.
The term “stageXplorer” refers to forms of theatrical presentation which either break up the traditional unity of works and transform them into newly integrated wholes, or open up new perspectives on works by inviting artists from other artistic fields to join the staging teams in developing innovative multimedial forms of theatricality.
While earlier experiments were positioned between performance and electronic events, stageXplorer breaks new ground by fusing production methods and strategies from a variety of disparate fields of artistic endeavour.
The teams, consisting of stage director and designer and, optionally, concept artists from various artistic fields, are free to use any form of stage presentation which contributes to expressing their intentions.
Competition rules and conditions
The competition is public and candidates from all countries are welcome to participate. Directors and designers who can show proof of appropriate professional training or artistic experience and who have not yet staged an independent production at a major theatre are eligible to enter.
Participants should not be more than 35 years of age.
All candidates are required to form teams, each consisting of one director and one designer. In any case of dispute as to eligibility to enter the competition, the Ring Award Jury's decision shall be final.
Registration and submission
Registration is effected by completing and returning the enclosed registration form to the following address:
Ring Award 05
Wagner Forum Graz
PO Box 557
A - 8011 Graz, Austria
The registration fee for each team is EUR 30.-.
All payments must be free of charge to the recipient, i. e. entrants must ensure that they pay all bank charges of the remitting bank and those of the receiving bank.
Payments should be made into the following account:
account number: 33.446.6 bank number: 38.439
Account-holder: Wagner Forum Graz
Make payable to “Ring Award 05”
All candidates who are accepted as competitors will receive written confirmation of acceptance.
Registration and submission deadline: 9 August 2004 (date of postmark)
At their submission, entrants have to make sure that their names appear only on the cover of their submission material and nowhere else on the texts, pictures etc.
Please enclose the following for your submission:
Languages of submission may be German, English, French, or Italian. The storyboard and the short versions are expected to be in German or English.
You can either submit electronically or to the registration address given above.
The competition subject is W. A. Mozart’s opera „Le nozze di Figaro”.
The competition is in three stages.
Each team develops a complete general concept, with consideration of the musical subtext, for the staging of the whole opera “Le nozze di Figaro” and produces drawings for the set or sets, including figurines.
Candidates submitting in the stageXplorer category also develop a complete general concept, including drawings and figurines, for the musico-theatrical performance on the basis of Mozart’s opera “Le nozze di Figaro”, with a maximum duration of 45 minutes.
Candidates submitting in electronic form will have an opportunity to present their projects on the web. However, prior to the jury's verdict, access will be restricted to the jury and the respective candidates. Those submissions that are not chosen by the jury to enter the second stage of the competition may be made available on the internet to the general public if the candidates so wish.
The jury select a maximum of ten ring award teams and two stageXplorer teams to enter the second stage of the competition. The decision will be taken at the end of October 2004.
Submission deadline: 9 August 2004
Stage 2 Semifinals
At this stage the ring award teams devise detailed drafts for staging the second act of Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” and produce models for the requisite set or sets with figurines.
Candidates of the stageXplorer branch equally produce a detailed concept for the complete musico-theatrical performance.
The work of the teams is presented to the jury and a public audience at an official meeting. Presentation time for each team is a maximum of 20 minutes. This presentation should use conventional methods (models 1 : 20) and optionally electronic means in addition.
The jury decide on a maximum of three ring award teams and one stageXplorer team to enter the third stage of the competition. The remaining teams receive special encouragement prizes of Euro 1,750.- each and are given the opportunity of presenting their projects to a wider public through the internet.
At the semifinals an Audience Prize will be awarded.
The prize money covers costs for travel and accommodation.
The projects for the second stage of the competition must be submitted by 20 January 2005.
The semifinals will take place on 29 and 30 January 2005 at the “Montagehalle”, Graz Opera House.
Stage 3 Finals
It is the task for the final ring award teams to prepare within 7 days (16 - 22 June 2005) a performance of the second act of Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” with the singers and musical accompaniment in the appropriate set or sets.
In accordance with the aims of the competition, the musical accompaniment will be by piano. The teams are free to choose the mode of presenting the recitatives.
The final stageXplorer team will equally prepare their musico-theatrical performance with the singers in the appropriate set (or space configuration), with a maximum duration of 45 minutes. They may freely choose the musical accompaniment and other artistic forms of presentation.
At the finals (24 - 26 June 2005) the three versions of the second act and the musico-theatrical performance based on Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” will be performed before a public audience and the juries.
Each final team will receive a prize at Euro 7,000.-, which also covers costs for travel and accommodation.
All teams will work to the same budget for the sets and costumes. This budget may not in any circumstances be exceeded, and all ring award teams will have the same stage facilities at their disposal. The stageXplorer version will be performed at a special venue (Dom im Berg).
Teams will be given details about the technical stage equipment and informed of the amount of their budget after the second stage of the competition.
End of March 2005: delivery of final set designs
The final stageXplorer team will have to send their dramaturgical and musical arrangement (with a maximum duration of 45 minutes) to both the organisers and the allotted team of singers by 2 May 2005 (date of postmark).
16 - 22 June 2005: rehearsals with the singers
24 - 26 June 2005: finals and award ceremony
for ring award teams at the Schauspielhaus Graz
for stageXplorer team at the Dom im Berg
The final teams consecutively present their different versions of the second act of Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro” and the musico-theatrical performance, respectively, to the juries and the public audience. The order of the presentations is decided by the Ring Award Jury.
Editorial deadline: 23 February 2004
It is agreed to oust the jurisdiction of a court. The organisers reserve the right to alter, discontinue or revoke the competition during any stage, in particular if the public funds proposed for that purpose are not made available at all or in sufficient quantity. However, the competition may be revoked also for other reasons. In the event the competition is altered or fully discontinued, the participants reserve the right to assert any reimbursement of expenses or any other compensation claims. However, this waiver does not cover any registration fees already paid; these will be reimbursed to the participants in the event the competition is revoked.