FEDORA Announces 2021 Opera Prize Shortlist

By Chris Ruel

FEDORA, The European Circle of Philanthropists of Ballet and Opera, announced its shortlist of projects selected for the 2021 FEDORA Prizes.

The group chose 34 projects for the public voting phase, which began on Feb. 1 and runs through Feb. 26. The voting phase determines which projects move to the next level of the competition and follows the December 2020 pre-selection process conducted by IMZ, Opera Europa, and RESEO. FEDORA will announce the 2021 Prize winners in June.

The philanthropic organization offers four prizes: the FEDORA Opera Prize (€75,000), supported by Generali; the FEDORA-Van Cleef & Arpels Prize for Ballet (€50,000), supported by Van Cleef & Arpels; the FEDORA Education Prize (€50,000), supported by a private foundation; and the FEDORA Digital Prize (€50,000), supported by Kearney.

According to FEDORA’s website, project pre-selection is determined in cooperation with Opera Europa, which represents 200 opera companies and festivals in 43 European countries, and RESEO, the European Network for opera, music, dance, and education.

The FEDORA Opera Prize, in particular, recognizes productions that reimagine the art form for the 21st century. Opera Jury Chair, Nicholas Payne, speaking in a pre-recorded video announcing the shortlisted projects stated, “We have nine shortlisted projects for the 2021 [Opera] Prize. They make compelling examples of innovation, creativity, and ingenuity displayed by opera companies during a time when performances have been badly disturbed. They offer hope for 2021 and beyond 2021.”

Payne went on to point to three common themes found in each of the nine opera selections. “First, the projects make strong statements by female creative teams. Second, there is a determination to address the issues of today. And third, the emphasis of all the projects is on recovery and resilience at this time.”

The FEDORA Opera Prize shortlist includes “Elsewhere,” Straymaker, Ireland; “Like Flesh,” Opéra de Lille, France; “The Witches Seed,” Tones on Stones, Italy; “Beauty and the Seven Beasts,” The Opera Story, United Kingdom; “Manga for Lovers,” Théâtre du Châtelet, France; “Innocence,” Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, France; “Alexina B.”, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Spain; “The Time of Our Singing,” La Monnaie/Du Munt, Belgium; and “ZELLE, Wenn es dunkel wird,” LOD muziektheater, Belgium.

In the video announcement, FEDORA Director, Edilia Gänz, stated, “Over the past years, we have invested—thanks to the support of the Prize sponsors—1.5 million Euros in 17 projects, enabling them to reach the stage while involving 67 partners and co-producers who have staged over 400 performances welcoming over 500,000 people in 20 countries. Every year we kick off the Prizes competition by announcing the shortlisted projects. These cutting-edge artistic works reflect today’s and tomorrow’s society, and we are happy to give them access to international funding opportunities.”

Shortlisted ballet, digital, and education projects can be found on FEDORA’s website.