Ready for take off: MTNow 2018 launching!
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  1. Editorial
  2. Call for Applications MTNow 2018
  3. Jury of MTNow
  4. Prizes of this year's edition
  5. Further news
  6. Contact us


Dear Friends and Colleagues,

we want you to be the first group that is officially informed about the upcoming edition of Music Theatre NOW 2018.
Between February 1st 2018 and June 30th 2018 you can enter the fourth edition of this worldwide competition with your new productions that premiered within the last three years.
We are looking forward to a lot of exciting applications of groundbreaking new works. Are you ready for MTN 2018?

We have gathered some information about the competition, the jury and the prizes below. In case you have more questions, check out our FAQs on the website or drop us a mail. We look forward to getting in touch with you. 

Feel free to share this newsletter, forward the call or send a link via Facebook, Twitter or mail to anybody you think could be interested in submitting. Your help will be much appreciated.

We wish you a pleasant and inspiring time and look forward to your submissions to MTN 2018.

All the best and thank you for your support,
(for the team of Music Theatre NOW)

P.S: We have also collected some more information that might be relevant for you. Scroll down for survey, celebration and ITI…

Worldwide Competition for Music Theatre and new Opera

Presented by the Music Theatre NOW Network of International Theatre Institute in co-operation with the German Centre of ITI

The Music Theatre NOW Network of the International Theatre Institute (ITI) in cooperation with the German Centre of ITI invites artists to make submissions to their worldwide competition for the creators of new opera and music theatre. First productions of new works, which have been staged professionally anywhere in the world since July 2015 are eligible for submission.

We are looking forward to groundbreaking works from all forms of professional opera and music theatre. The jury welcomes submissions that demonstrate dynamism textually, in genre, score, or staging. We welcome works made by opera and theatre institutions, works created by festivals, or works created by individuals: the jury will appreciate a broad range of submissions that demonstrate new developments and dynamism.

Special attention will be given to works, whose musical and theatrical vocabulary originates from outside of the Western European tradition. As a guideline for regions where music theatre or opera are not well defined: we encourage interdisciplinary submissions, where music plays a dominant role.

Prizewinners will be invited to the international meeting of Music Theater NOW in May 2019, which will be held at the Operadagen Rotterdam, an annual international performing arts festival, held in Rotterdam (The Netherlands). Practitioners and presenters from all over the world will attend the convention. Music Theatre NOW award winners will present their work in short lectures to an invited group of performing arts festival directors and presenters from across the globe – giving winners a unique opportunity to introduce themselves to important professionals in the field.

Prizewinners will also qualify for an additional prize: invitations to perform at prestigious partner venues across the world. For the upcoming round several festivals have declared their intent to invite winning productions to perform in the near future. Operadagen Rotterdam have committed to stage at least one production during 2019. Additionally festivals such as Prototype Festival (New York), NOA Festival (Vilnius) and Beijing Music Festival have all expressed serious interest in staging productions.

A five-member internationally renowned jury will select a total of 10 prizewinning works that are exemplary in terms of the contemporary developments in music theatre. Jury members include: Krystian Lada (dramaturg / Brussels), Neo Muyanga (composer and musician / Cape Town), Shoshana Polanco (creative producer / Mexico City), Liu Sola (composer, vocalist and author / Beijing) and Limor Tomer (general manager of concerts and lectures Metropolitan Museum of Art / New York). 

Music Theatre NOW offers a unique opportunity in this area of the performing arts.
Since 2008 more than 1000 world premieres of new opera and music theatre have been entered into this prestigious competition, bringing together practitioners and presenters. Former winners have performed at festivals around the world. Music Theatre Now has been the launch pad for many successful international careers.

The deadline for submissions is June 30th 2018.

More information, application form and FAQ online:

Jury of MTNow 2018

Krystian Lada, Dramaturg, Brussels
Neo Muyanga, Composer, Cape Town
Shoshana Polanco, International Producer, Mexico City
Liu Sola, Composer, Beijing
Limor Tomer, General Manager of Concerts and Lectures at  Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Krystian Lada is a dramaturge, librettist and stage director, active in the fields of opera, classical music and theatre. His work explores alternative forms of artistic collaboration and art curating, and aims at developing new platforms for social interactions in post-migrant societies. Lada is the founder and artistic director of The Airport Society — a nomadic cooperative of artists, activists and social entrepreneurs that initiates projects connecting recent developments in opera, technology and society. 2013-2016 Lada held the position of Director of Dramaturgy, Empowerment and Communication at the Belgian Royal Opera La Monnaie in Brussels. Prior to that, he studied dramaturgy and literary studies at the University of Amsterdam. As a dramaturge he has been collaborating with a range of stage directors and visual artists, incl. Pierre Audi, Ivo van Hove, Mariusz Trelinski, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Tobias Kratzer, Yuval Sharon and Kirsten Dehlholm (Hotel Pro Forma). He collaborated on opera and theatre projects with, a.o. La Monnaie, The Dutch National Opera, National Theatre of London, Polish National Opera, Opera in Poznan, National Forum of Music in Wroclaw, International Choreographic Centre in Amsterdam, and Studio Minailo. He wrote libretti such composers as Katarina Glowicka, Dariusz Przybylski, Andrzej Kwieciński and Annelies Van Parys. Lada initiated and curated several series of events and programmes, incl. United States of Opera (a forum for contemporary opera makers) and Fringe FUEL (a creative activism and professional empowerment programme for artists). 

Neo Muyanga is a composer, musician and librettist. Born in Soweto, he studied madrigal singing in Trieste, Italy. In 1996 he co-founded (with Masauko Chipembere) the acoustic pop duo, Blk Sonshine, and in 2008, co-founded (with Ntone Edjabe) the Pan African Space Station, a platform that hosts cutting-edge Pan African music and sound art on the internet. His recorded albums include: Blk Sonshine (1999), the listening room (2003), fire famine plague and earthquake (2007), good life (2009), Dipalo (2011),  toro tse sekete (2015) and Second-hand reading (2016). His other published works include the music plays, memory of how it feels (2010), the flower of shembe (2012) and the opera, heart of redness (2015). An alumnus of the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD (2016), he was also named Composer-in-residence at the Johannesburg International Mozart Festival (2017) and the National Arts Festival of South Africa (2017). He tours widely both as a solo performer, bandleader, choir conductor. He is a research affiliate at the University of Cape Town’s Drama School and the Centre for African Studies.

Shoshana Polanco is a Buenos Aires born, Mexico City resident, and former NYC resident creative producer. She currently works at La Teatrería in Mexico City. She is in charge of developing new collaborations between the theater and other local institutions as well as international networking. Because of her international scope as a citizen and arts worker, she has been invited to be part of the programming panel of the 2016 Made in Scotland showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, participate of the international advisory panel of PAMS choice 2015 in Seoul, Korea, and served as curator for Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation ́s Southern Exposure in 2015 and 2017. Shoshana is an active member of ISPA (International Society for the Performing Arts) since 2014 when she was one of their global fellows. She currently seats in their membership committee, was part of the planning committee of the 2017 NYC Congress, and co-chair of the 2016 NYC Congress. Wherever she goes, she loves to build bridges – not walls – that bring together artists from all over the world, and loves to present innovative work to audiences who may not have been exposed to that type of work before. She is a firm believer that art can make us better people, and thus allow us to live in a better world. 
She holds a BA (Magna Cum Laude) from the CUNY Baccalaureate Program, Area of Concentration: Women in Performance. She is the mother of Anais and Aaron.

Liu Sola (aka: Liu Suola) is a composer, vocalist, music producer, and author. 
After graduating from the Central Conservatory of Music with a degree in composition, she published her award-winning novella You Have no Choice. Since 1980’s, Liu Sola has scored many Chinese and international film sound tracks, as well as TV and drama productions. She has composed music for orchestra, ensemble, opera, modern theatre, modern dance, and art exhibitions. Her range of musical styles include classical music, jazz, early music, rock, traditional and contemporary music. In 2003, she founded the Liu Sola & Friends Chinese Ensemble, teaming up with Chinese instrumental virtuosos. The Ensemble has toured internationally,  and from 2017 onwards, an annual national tour will be a part of its program. Liu’s music works include the chamber opera Fantasy of the Red Queen (2006), performed by Ensemble Modern and the Liu Sola & Friends Ensemble. Liu Sola is the dramaturge, librettist and music composer, artistic director, costume designer and leading vocalist. The chamber opera The Afterlife of Li Jiantong (2009) was performed by Theatre of Voices, conducted by Paul Hillier. Liu Sola wrote both the libretto and the music.
Her novels include Chaos & All That (1989), Nv Zhen Tang (2000), which has been translated into French and Italian, and Lost in Fascination (2011). Her recent book about her Ensemble The Nomadic Life of Sounds will be published soon.

Born in Israel, Limor Tomer moved to the United States at age 13. She earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree at Juilliard School and studied for her doctorate in aesthetics at New York University. For 10 years she was a professional classical pianist in solo and orchestral performances throughout the United States and Europe.
Tomer transitioned from performance to arts management, where she worked closely with Harvey Lichtenstein at BAM on projects ranging from BAM Rose Cinemas to launching and programming the BAMCafe.  Following her tenure at BAM, she became Executive Producer for Music at WNYC radio, where she produced such award-winning programs as “24:33,” a John Cage celebration; “A Beautiful Symphony of Brotherhood,” about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; and launched the Peabody-award winning web-based new music station Q2 (recently renamed New Sounds). Tomer served as Adjunct Curator for Performance at the Whitney Museum from 2005-11, and there she created the performing arts department and curated performance shows including “Christian Marclay: Festival, a collaboration with David Kiehl,” “Steve Reich@ the Whitney”  and “Meredith Monk Music @ the Whitney.”
She joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art as General Manager of Concerts and Lectures in July 2011, where she launched MetLiveArts, the world’s largest museum-based performance series, which features >90 classical and contemporary performances ranging from dance, theater, music, sound installations, performance art and hybrids from around the world, many of which are commissions, site specific or premieres.  
Tomer was invited to serve as Performance Curator for the inaugural 2016 and 2017 June Events at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (Athens, Greece) where she presented dance and music performances in multiple venues around the SNFCC campus.  She serves as a member of the National Curatorial Council of The Hermitage Artist Retreat in Sarasota, FL.

Prizes for the 2018 Competition


The 10 prizewinners will be invited to present their works in short lectures at the international meeting of Music Theatre NOW in Rotterdam in May 2019. Practitioners and presenters from all over the world will be in attendance. Music Theatre NOW award winners are winning a unique opportunity for international exposure, invaluable networking opportunities and advice from other professionals.
In 2019 the convention will again be part of the annual performing arts festival Operadagen in Rotterdam (The Netherlands).

Special Awards / Further Invitations

Prizewinners will also qualify for additional prizes in the form of invitations to perform at partner venues throughout the world.

Operadagen Award
Operadagen (Rotterdam), have proposed inviting at least one production for a guest performance to their festival. 

Several other festivals and institutions have signaled their serious interest in inviting winning productions at the MTNOW convention in 2019 and will be present during the event. Among them NOA festival (Lithuania), Prototype Festival (New York) and Beijing Music Festival.


Music Theatre NOW is not just a competition and platform for innovation, but also a growing archive for contemporary music theatre which is open to students, scholars, artists and anyone interested from all over the world. This is an invaluable recourse, providing insight into the production of music theatre.
MTNOW offers the opportunity for all competition entrants to be included in this fantastic archive which already contains more than 1000 new productions of music theatre from the last decade.

Yearbook of ITI Germany

Freedom and democ­racy - these are the values, which must be defended worldwide

Especially in the past year the rights and the freedom of artists were seriously threatened and restrained by the raising populism and religious fanatism.

On the occasion of the many censorship actions in Poland, Hungary or Russia (which massively restricted the artists in their work opportunities) the annual of ITI Germany for 2017 is focusing on the symptomatical developments of nationalism and populism, which try to hinder a democratic and culturally open togetherness. The new yearbook is thematically continuing the row of the past two annuals of ITI „Understanding“ (2015) und „Who is Europe?“ (2016). The annual is accessible HERE

70th Anniversary of the International Theatre Institute

ITI was created on the initiative of the first UNESCO Director General, Sir Julian Huxley, and the playwright and novelist, JB Priestly in 1948, just after the Second World War, and at the beginning of the Cold War, when the Iron Curtain divided the East and the West.

The whole 2018 will be the Year of ITI – meaning ITI and its members are able to celebrate ITI from 1 January to 31 December with celebration, ceremonies, festivals, conference and more.

Vive ITI! 2018 is the year of ITI. Let´s celebrate it, include artists and audiences, and increase the visibility of ITI.

More information online:

On the Move: Open consultation

What would be the ideal European Mobility Fund for Arts and Culture for you?

This open consultation has been developed by On the Move, the cultural mobility information network active in Europe and internationally. 

There is a renewed interest, at a national and European policy level, in artists’ mobility across Europe and internationally. It has created the opportunity to explore the development of a European Mobility Fund for Arts and Culture. Via this online consultation, they aim to collect ideas from the cultural sector about the need for an artists’/cultural professionals’ mobility fund. 

This survey is for individuals and organisations. It will take approximately 15 minutes to answer. The questions are written in English, but answers can also be provided in English, French, Spanish and Italian. 

Responses for the survey close on 20 February 2018.
Click here for the survey.

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