General Information



Music theatre productions which had premiered between July 2018 and June 2021 were eligible for this edition of the competition.


The Competition

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.


A jury of five internationally acclaimed music theatre professionals will select at least 6 outstanding productions..

These winners will be invited to present their works in short lectures at the international convention of Music Theater NOW at the O. Festival in Rotterdam (formerly Operadagen) in May 2022. 


MTNOW prizewinners are winning a unique opportunity for international exposure and invaluable networking opportunities and advice from other professionals, because many curators and presenters from around the world will be invited to attend the convention. Past winners of Music Theatre NOW were invited by many producers to present their works as a result of winning the competition.


Prize winners will also qualify for additional prizes in the form of invitations to perform at partner venues throughout the world, depending on size and content of the production – guest performances and/or online showings will be awarded by O. – Festival for Opera. Music. Theatre. (Rotterdam), Prototype Festival (New York), Teatrix MX (Mexico) and Swedish Performing Arts Biennale.


Several festivals have declared  a serious interest in inviting prize winners to stage their productions in the near futureAmong them NOA Festival (Lithuania), Beijing Music Festival (China) and Gare du Nord (Switzerland).


We are looking forward to groundbreaking submissions from all forms of professional opera and music theatre.


Due to the current worldwide situation that challenges the performing arts, the Music Theatre NOW competition is for the first time open to all forms of multi- and intermedia presentations – including interactive online works, live audio experiences and of course staged performances – as long as they integrate a performative aspect. 


The Jury welcomes submissions that demonstrate dynamism textually, in genre, score, or form of presentation. 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.


We also welcome works by so-called non-academic composers and works without a written score. Additionally it should be noted that singing does not  have to be part of the production. However, the competition does not allow entries that are re-workings or reinterpretations of existing music, operas or music theatre. Works such as these MAY NOT be submitted, with the exception of original musical compositions that include samples.


Our idea of music theatre is as wide as possible and encourages interdisciplinary submissions where music plays a dominant role from all parts of the world to take part – independently from the musical and theatrical tradition, their form of staging or presentation and their means of professional production.