Pair share opera prize

The tenth European Opera-directing Prize ended in a tie for first place. Karolina Sofulak (Poland) and Gerald Jones (UK) shared the €20,000 prize.

“Both teams were absolutely equivalent,” said jury chair Annilese Miskimmon (director of Den Norske Opera & Ballet). “Having to decide for one of the teams would not have been fair.”

Sofulak (who worked with designer Georg Leigh) and Jones (who worked with designer Cecile Tremolieres) both presented concepts for a new adaptation of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. They will see their winning works produced at Holland Park Festival and Staatstheater Mainz respectively.

In total, 214 candidates from 32 nations applied for this year’s competition, with 10 making it through to the first round and four the final. The jury included Renata Borowska-Juszczynska (general manager, Poznan Opera House), James Clutton (director of opera, Opera Holland Park), Richard Willacy (executive director, Birmingham Opera Company) and Stefan Vogel (opera general manager, Staatstheater Mainz).