Think back to ten years ago. What comes to mind? The global financial crisis? Or your first smartphone? Maybe a different job or living in a different city? Either way, you will probably find a number of snapshots of days gone by in your head like Polaroids in your personal photo album.
When Music Theatre Now looks back at the past decade, we see nearly the complete development of a genre. Since its launch in 2008, each edition of the competition has been a snapshot of the state of music theatre. The 1,000 plus works from these past ten years constitute a new archive out of which the 63 winners provide a picture of international excellence.
It is truly fascinating to witness how much has changed over just a decade in terms of technical resources for everyday life. Whereas ten years ago, you would have needed an actual camera in order to take a picture, today your smartphone is ready at hand. Ten years ago, hundreds of applicants from all over the world mailed DVDs—typically in PAL format—of their submissions to Berlin by post. For the fourth edition, we received more than 400 HD video files submitted as links, which we could easily access from anywhere in the world.
The convenient accessibility of information about new works has made the music theatre world a little smaller, and has helped to bring works from the other side of the globe to one’s own country. Still, we at Music Theatre Now remain committed to the idea that real-life, personal interaction is the ideal way for artists and presenters to meet and discuss their motivations and working processes.
For us, the memories of the fourth competition are already inscribed with the generous and essential support of the ITI Germany and the ITI Worldwide, both of which have accompanied us on our journey over these past ten years. We are also indebted to the Operadagen Rotterdam for their ongoing hospitality. We are thrilled to have them as our host for the second time in a row.
Bearing this in mind, we are extremely happy to welcome all of you to the fourth edition of the Music Theatre Now meeting. It is our aim here to carry on the conversation about music theatre and its development through a global perspective. We hope that you will take home a lot of valuable memories and inspiring snapshots, both digital and mental. Who knows how these will appear to us in another ten years time.
Christian Grammel (for the team of Music Theatre Now)