Chamber Opera
Dance Music
Composition Competition

Fedora Prize

On 16th, 17th, 21st and 22nd March the chamber opera jury and the dance jury convened. Participants came from 28 different countries. 17 composers have been allowed in the theatre section and 10 in the dance section.

Luigi Pizzaleo is the winner of the first edition of the Dance section of the Fedora Prize (Jury headed by David Lang).

Sandra Conte is the winner of the chamber opera section of the Fedora Prize (Jury headed by Louis Andriessen).

The Fedora Prize: chamber opera and dance

The Fedora Prize was instigated in 2007 by the “Atelier La Voce dell’Arte” association. Today it is a major international competition for composers of chamber operas.

Starting from 2011, the competition will undergo a further development with the opening of two sections, which will alternate: one will continue to be devoted to chamber opera, while a new section will be devoted to dance.

Chamber opera

The aim of this prize is to contribute to the renewal of a musical genre which seems to have evolved less than other forms of contemporary music. The prize presents an intriguing challenge, bearing in mind that in a multi-structured musical society like ours, the hope is that there may be a coherent renewal of the musical language between new forms and the evolution in modes of expression. 

We want to make it clear that no restrictions are imposed, apart from the necessary restriction of the size of the orchestra – the competition is open to a wide range of forms of musical language and to any type of research regarding sound and expression, using a group of instruments which may be symphonic, rhythmic-symphonic, or completely alternative. 

Looking at the scores that have been entered in past editions of the competition, the artistic directors and the Jury are hoping to see a more innovative instrumental approach than that of the rather traditional ensembles that have dominated up to now, for example with a greater use of wind instruments (brass in particular), percussion, and amplified as well as electronic instruments.


The Fedora Prize this year is opening a new section devoted to dance theatre. The competition’s aims are to encourage the creation of a repertoire of original compositions written expressly as dance music, to inject new energy into a tradition which was very much alive until last century but which has now become marginal: choreographers now tend to use music which was not written specifically for ballet, or which was intended for dance styles which are no longer in vogue. 

The Fedora Prize proposes to act as an interface between new forms of body expression and the musical language of today. New forms of interaction between music and dance will be especially appreciated, to establish a close dialogue between all the artistic elements of a performance.
The project takes its inspiration from an idea of the great choreographer Ismael Ivo, and is intended to be a reflection on the risks modern culture runs by pursuing aims which are imposed on it through a reckless relationship with nature.

Edward Norton Lorenz, the father of modern meteorology and the instigator of “chaos theory”, said that “the flap of a butterfly’s wings could set off a tornado in Texas”. We want this “butterfly effect” to be our watchword: to recover a relationship of full awareness with nature, and to think hard about some of the dynamics of our society, will be a good thing for all of us. We ask composers to explore their creative universe in search of sounds that can express these basic themes, which are of crucial relevance to today’s world,  at the same time engaging with the language of dance, to create an artistic message of great power and efficacy.

Art may not be able to change the world, but it is obliged to try, with all the resources it has at its disposal. At least, this is our commitment and our belief.


A prize of €2.500,00 will awarded to the winners of both sections

A production centre

The Fedora Prize is becoming a centre of musical and artistic production and multimedia research, working with local artists, universities and institutions, and organisations in other countries. Its aim is to promote the co-production of events and the winning operas of the Competition, and establish relationships with other international producers.

The Jury

Fedora Prize Theatre, Jury 2010:Louis Andriessen, Giovanni Bietti, Lyell Cresswel and Enzo Restagno.

Fedora Prize Dance, Jury 2010: Ismael Ivo, David LangGiovanni Bietti and Alessandro Cipriani


The jury of the Fedora Prize is made up of noted experts in contemporary music, and includes prestigious composers, musicologists, critics and music historians eminent in the field of Italian and international music.

Contemporary forms of expression: the Fedora Prize & Design

The essential feature of the Fedora Prize is its wholehearted receptiveness to all forms of experimentation contributing to the renewal of musical theatre, whether in sound, expression, space or medium. This continual experimentation leads to far-ranging research into the evolution of contemporary forms of expression, including a new concept of stage design incorporating features which properly belong to the world of contemporary architecture and interior design.
Unlike much academic art, design has been able to relate people to beauty and creativity through its physical, tactile properties, its direct contact; and this strong communicative capacity of design can be of great assistance to contemporary musical and theatrical forms of expression, which demand to be historically contextualised both in form and content.

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