246 registered candidates/
David Pountney (chairman)
Artistic Director of Bregenz Festival/ Intendant of Welsh National Opera
Intendant of Stadttheater Klagenfurt
Intendant of Teatro Sociale di Como
Directeur général Opéra de Lyon
Director for Opera of Staatstheater Mainz
Programme director Hong Kong Art Festival
In the final round (5 to 7 april), in a rehearsal room of the Volksoper Wien at the spring conference of Opera Europa, the participants had to work on a scene from the opera “Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo with three singers in front of a prominent Directors jury.
The jury chairman David Pountney justified the result with the fact that the European Opera-Directing Prize “looks for concepts and ideas, which represent “a benefit”, thus a benefit for the opera of the future. It is not the aim to find the best skilled director, but to encourage young theatre makers, who are ready to leave well-know tracks, to look for new perspectives and convert them on the stage. The Spanish director Rafael R. Villalobos proved his capabilities.”
The first prize would have been linked with a production of the submitted project of the two short operas “Pagliacci” by Ruggero Leoncavallo and “Cavalleria rusticana” by Pietro Mascagni. The jury had the impression that it would be more profitable for the development and for the career of the young director to first succeed with another project not in the environment of Stadttheater Klagenfurt. “As a jury, one finally also carries a responsibility for the career of a young theatre maker”, said Nicholas Payne, Director of Opera Europa.
In addition to the 2nd prize, Rafael Villalobos and his team staged Benjamin Britten’s church opera Noye’s Fludde
in the Lutherkirche in Wiesbaden in Oktober 2013.