Preloader Operavision
Nicolas Galani


Get in the Ring: 25 years of RING AWARD

The RING AWARD is an international competition for stage direction and stage design in musical theatre held in three-year intervals in Graz, Austria. It is organized in three stages and is characterised by stage performances at the finals. In its nine editions so far 1565 participants from 53 countries have participated.

The RING AWARD enables and encourages a critical reflection of current trends and developments in musical theatre. It enables young artists to get international resonance for their ideas of what contemporary musical theatre should be like and provides a professional platform for planning and realizing actual performances.

Stepping Stone for Young Artists

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. RING AWARD 08 winners Tobias Kratzer und Rainer Sellmaier, opened the Bayreuth Festival season of 2019 with their new production of Tannhäuser. In summer 2019, 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 2020. This production was now postponed to 2022 due to Covid-19. 

25 years of RING AWARD

The competition celebrates its 25th anniversary with the RING AWARD 20. The groundwork for the RING AWARD was laid in 1995 with the founding of the Wagner Forum Graz. The idea of promoting young talent gave rise to a competition for directing and stage design, which evolved into the RING AWARD and has been directed by artistic director Heinz Weyringer since its inception.


A record number of 126 teams with 326 participants from 32 nations followed the call and submitted their stage direction and stage design concepts for the competition opera Don Giovanni in autumn 2019. The RING AWARD jury, consisting of renowned intendants and experts of musical theatre from all over Europe, travelled to Graz for Round 1 of the competition in September 2019 to judge all submissions at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. They nominated 9 teams for the semifinal.

Round 2 of the competition took place from 9 to 11 January 2020. The teams held probational rehearsals, concept talks, and completed a feasibility study in front of the jury from 9-10 January. Then public multimedia concept presentations in front of the jury and audiences took place. The audience could also view nine detailed set design models with costume sketches for Don Giovanni up close and ask the teams questions regarding their concepts: a look behind the scenes of the development of an opera production. The RING AWARD Jury finally nominated three teams for ROUND 3.

OperaVision streamed the final round and award ceremony on 26 & 27 June 2021 live from Schauspielhaus Graz, Austria, which provides all the technical and stage work for all three premieres in 24 hours.

The streaming of the RING AWARD Finals is supported by the Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Public Service and Sport of the Republic of Austria.


The main prize 'RING AWARD' which includes a stage production with stage design at one of the stages of Bühnen Graz, donated by Oper Graz, went to Team Anika Rutkofsky (DE) / Eleni Konstantatou (GR) / Johanna Danhauser (DE).
From the statement of the jury:
'This team succeeds in establishing a view of Don Giovanni that draws from the present, isnsurprising and at the same time never moralizing. Their thoroughly feminist account of Don Giovanni is developed in every moment from the music, the text and the characters. It is very playful, it is very permeable – and it evokes many associations and scope for imagination for us as viewers. We want to see more of this!'
The Province of Styria Prize went to Team Krystian Lada (PL) / Didzis Jaunzems (LV) / Natalia Kitamikado (PL).
The City of Graz Prize went to Team Anika Rutkofsky (DE) / Eleni Konstantatou (GR) / Johanna Danhauser (DE).
Nine additional special prizes for productions including stage design were awarded by Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, La Monnaie / De Munt, Theater an der Wien, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and Staatstheater Cottbus.

Operavision Susanne Hassler

The Don Giovanni Syndrome


Team Krystian Lada (PL)
Didzis Jaunzems (LV)
Natalia Kitamikado (PL)


Saturday 26 June 2021 at 11:30 CET

Operavision Susanne Hassler

Inside Don Giovanni


Alicia Geugelin (DE)
Christin Schumann (DE)
Pia Preuß (DE)
Elise Schobeß (DE)


Saturday 26 June 2021 at 16:30 CET

Operavision Susanne Hassler

Don Giovanni. The Reckoning


Anika Rutkofsky (DE)
Eleni Konstantatou (GR)
Johanna Danhauser (DE)


Sunday 27 June 2021 at 10:30 CET