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Music Theatre NOW Competition
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Info & Rules

Contest info


Music Theatre NOW (MTNOW) is the premier competition for first productions of new works, which have been professionally created anywhere in the world.


Since 2008 more than 1000 world premieres of new opera and music theatre have entered our competition to take part in our unique convention that brings together practitioners and presenters from across the globe.


Former winners have staged their works at various festivals around the globe, such as Operadagen (Rotterdam), Prototype Festival (New York) or Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival ACT. MTNOW has been a launchpad for several successful international careers.
Music theatre productions which had premiered between July 2015 and June 2018 are eligible for the competition. Works, which were in development and performed in incomplete form before may also be submitted, as long as no version of the work was performed before 01 January 2012.


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: the organisers encourage interdisciplinary submissions, where music plays the dominant role.

Number of winners





Music performance



Start date

22 March 2018  -  30 June 2018


22 March 2018  -  30 June 2018


22 March 2018  -  30 June 2018



The 10 prizewinners will be invited to present their works in short lectures at the international convention of Music Theatre NOW in Rotterdam in May 2019. Practitioners and presenters from all over the world will be in attendance. Music Theatre NOW and award winners are winning a unique opportunity for international exposure and invaluable networking opportunities and advice from other professionals. Prizewinners will also qualify for additional prizes in the form of invitations to perform at partner venues throughout the world.
For the upcoming round several festivals have declared a serious interest in inviting prize winners to stage their productions in the near future. These include festivals such as: Prototype Festival (New York), NOA Festival (Vilnius) and Beijing Music Festival.
In addition to Operadagen Rotterdam, who have committed to show at least one production in full in 2019 and Shanghai International Contemporary Theatre Festival ACT will invite of small or medium sized production to their festival.
The Music Theatre NOW meeting, previously called the Music Theatre Workshop, has served as a forum for professionals for many years. The list of works presented over the years includes the following artists: Michael van der Aa, Jiri Adámek, Louis Andriessen, Georges Aperghis, Giorgio Battistelli, Oscar Bianchi, Hans-Jürgen von Bose, Chaya Czernowin, Pascal Dusapin, Peter Eötvös, Jonas Forssell, Roberto Gerhard, Philip Glass, Heiner Goebbels, Detlev Glanert, Helmut Lachenmann, Liza Lim, Luca Lombardi, Jin Hi Kim, Giacomo Manzoni, Wolfgang Mitterer, Andrea Molino, Per Nörgaard, Jocy de Oliveira, Aribert Reimann, François Sarhan, Alfred Schnittke, Karminia Silec, Mansha Tian, Michael Tippett, Awet Terterjan, Rodion Schehedrin, Judith Weir, Danny Young.


Age restriction: /

Available for citizens: Worldwide