13th EOP



And the winner is…

The final round of the 13th EOP – European Opera-directing Prize took place on the first weekend in August 2023 in Birmingham. The host was the BOC – Birmingham Opera Company, an opera institution with a permanent ensemble but without its own house.

On the studio stage of the public library, all four teams had to work with four of the BOC singers on a scene of Bedřich Smetana’s Two Widows (Dvě vdovy) in front of a jury of five. Based on their interpretations of the opera and their directing concepts that had won them the final round, all of them had to prepare the same scene. While their individual directing concepts had been the focus of the semi-finals, their work with the singers was the main focus for the jury on the day of the finals.

In the run-upto the 13th EOP – European Opera-directing Prize applications from a total of 91 young artists in 46 teams and 18 nationalities worldwide were received. Twelve young up-and-coming opera directors under the age of 35 years made it to the semi-finals, from which the four finalists were chosen.

Every two years the Camerata Nuova invites tenders for the EOP-European Opera-directing Prize, in collaboration with one European Opera House as well as Opera Europa, an association of more than 230 opera houses and festivals. The EOP is the major competition for young  opera directors with the widest international reach.


1. Preis
Lorenzo Ponte (IT) Director
With Alice Benazzi, set design
and Guilia Rossena, costume design
Staging of Zwei Witwen (Dvě vdovy), Bedřich Smetana and 25.000 EUR towards the production costs


To find out more about this particular interpretation of Two widows (excerpts) please click here

For more information about Lorenzo Ponte please click here

For information about the Smetana Festival in Litomyšl (Englisch) and the Opening Night on the 20. Juni 2024, please click here

Special Award

Verena Silcher (GER) Director

With Elena Stranghöner, set design

10.000 EUR for advanced training at the Birmingham Opera Company – either an assistantship on a large project by Peter Sellars or a small production of their own.




The 2nd and 3rd prizes were not awarded.

The other two finalists were Benedikt Arnold (D) and Chiara Osella (IT) with Eleonora Peronetti, set design.


The finalists and their teams: Lorenzo Ponto, Chiara Osella, Benedikt Arnold, Verena Silcher

The EOP panel of judges: Barbara Minghetti, Karen Stone, Aleš Březina, Richard Willacy, Vasyl Vovkun