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The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize: One Day Left to Apply, Due September 3rd

Stage Directions • Industry News • August 27, 2020

The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize is a biennial program offered as part of OPERA America’s continuing effort to foster emerging opera artists. The prize is intended to bring new talent to the forefront and connect promising directors and designers with those who are in a position to advance their careers. Intent to Apply Deadline: September 3, 2020; Full Application Deadline: October 15, 2020.

OPERA America invites applications from director- or designer-driven teams of artists, who must create a production proposal for one of 10 pre-selected operas.

Finalist teams will receive $2,000 to further develop their production designs, present them at Opera Conference 2021, and showcase them in an exhibition at the National Opera Center in New York City. For a list of the 2019 awardees, click here.


This opportunity is open to emerging designer-director teams regardless of their OPERA America membership status. At least 50 percent of team members must be U.S. citizens. Up to four prize winning teams will be awarded $2,000 to fully develop their designs and be presented in a special showcase at Opera Conference 2021.

Important Dates:

2020 application available online: August 2020
Intent to apply deadline (required for full application): September 3, 2020
Final, full application deadline: October 15, 2020
Applications adjudicated: November 2020
Awardees notified: December 2020
Showcase Presentation: May 19–22, 2021, at OPERA America’s annual Opera Conference

Guidelines: 2021 Director-Designer Prize guidelines
2021 Worksheets: Intent to apply questions (PDF), application questions (PDF)
Apply: All applications must be submitted online at

Questions: Contact Kristal Pacific, director of social equity and grantmaking, at or 646.699.5236.

Further information from OPERA America:


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