Call for proposals – A Creative project for Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Macerata Opera Festival 2021

03 July 2020

Call for proposals – A Creative project for Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Macerata Opera Festival 2021

Associazione Arena Sferisterio, in collaboration with the Rossini Opera Festival and Opera Europa, issues a competition to design the settings, costume and stage direction for a new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Gioachino Rossini, to be staged at the Macerata Opera Festival as part of its 2021 programme whose theme is #Sferisterio100x100.


  • 3 July 2020: the call is published
  • 10 September 2020: deadline for enrollment and project submission
  • 10 October 2020: the selecting panel meets and shortlists 3 projects
  • 19 October 2020: the three finalists are interviewed and the winner is selected
  • 10 January 2021: the final project is submitted
  • 24 July 2021: the production premieres at the Macerata Opera Festival.


Associazione Arena Sferisterio General Office


    1. Associazione Arena Sferisterio, in collaboration with the Rossini Opera Festival and Opera Europa, launches a competition to design the stage direction, settings and costumes for a new production of Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Gioachino Rossini, to be staged at the Macerata Opera Festival 2021 as part of its programme to celebrate 100 years since the first opera production at the Sferisterio arena.
    2. The new production will premiere at the Sferisterio on 24 July 2021.
    3. The competition is open for artists that are aged 34 or less on 30 August 2020.
    4. The project shall comprise the stage direction, set and costume design.
    5. The stage director is entitled to enrol for the competition and s/he can add up to two team members. S/he can choose one or two set and costume designers, or s/he can participate on her/his own.
    6. Projects will be evaluated by an international panel comprising theatre managers, artistic and stage directors, well-known composers and the managers of both the Macerata Opera Festival and the Rossini Opera Festival.






  1. Projects and all materials shall be sent via WeTransfer to no later than 10 September 2020.
  2. All forms to be filled out for enrollment (personal details and bionote included) are available at this link: They shall be forwarded via WeTransfer along with the project materials.
  3. Each person/team can submit one project only.
  4. Official languages for the competition are Italian and English.




  1. The project is to be submitted for Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Gioachino Rossini, staged as part of the Macerata Opera Festival 2021 official programme.
  2. The project shall comply with the technical and structural features of the Sferisterio stage, aiming to enhance them at their best. Technical documents concerning the Sferisterio stage can be found here:
  3. Il Barbiere di Siviglia will be one of the three operas on stage in 2021, whose individual performances shall rotate. The project shall be designed so as to be assembled in one day relying on the following units of personnel: 1 stage manager, 4 technicians, 3 stagehands, 6 dressers, 6 hair/makeup units.
  4. The feasibility of the project in financial terms will be one of the criteria for evaluation and selection.
  5. The opera is to be staged in Italian and will be accompanied by English surtitles.


Projects are to be submitted in one of the official languages of the competition (Italian and English) and shall comprise the following material:

  1. Stage direction report
  2. Production report (settings and costumes)
  3. Set design drawings (A3 format maximum)
  4. Costume drawings
  5. Any additional material (videos, demos, autocad files, 3D models, etc.) is optional. 



  1. The selecting panel will shortlist three projects and these will be informed on 10 October.
  2. The three finalists will be summoned for an interview and a project presentation between the end of October and the beginning of November. On that occasion, all three will have one hour to present their project and to stage a scene from Il Barbiere di Siviglia, so as to show what their production may look like. Singers will be available on site.
  3. The winner will be announced on the day of the interviews and presentations.
  4. All final documents shall be submitted by 10 January, 2021.
  5. The winner, or winning team, will receive 25,000 euros (gross) plus VAT. The amount shall cover the original production rights and the fees for the staging at the Macerata Opera Festival.
  6. The winner shall communicate how the amount will be divided between the members of the team, comprising 3 people maximum.
  7. The team will sign a contract that includes rehearsals, the premiere and additional performances. The contract will run approximately from 17 June to 24 July, additional performances will take place until mid-August.
  8. The light designer will be chosen together with the stage director.
  9. The artistic management reserves the right to request technical and/or artistic changes, in line with the festival production needs.
  10. The winning production shall not be presented, audio or video recorded nor broadcast on radios and television between the day of selection and the final performance at the Sferisterio in Macerata.






  • 1- An international panel including the Macerata Opera Festival and Rossini Opera Festival managers, plus well-known artistic and stage directors, shall select the winning project. The panel decision is irrevocable. The organizers reserve the right to replace one or more members of the panel should the conditions arise. The panel can choose not to select any winner, if the projects are not deemed valuable. Only one project can be selected as the winner.
  • The panel reserves the right to ask the winner for technical and/or artistic changes to her/his project, if these are deemed necessary.


  • All materials that are submitted for the competition shall not be returned.
  • Projects and candidates that do not meet the requirements laid down in this document will not be evaluated.
  • The Macerata Opera Festival reserves the right to take audio and video recordings, to show and use for non-commercial purposes the performances resulting from the winning project. The winners are not entitled to any additional fee in this case, except for the author rights as stated by the Italian law.
  • The regulation laid down in this document is legally binding in its Italian version. In case of controversy, the Macerata court district will be involved.
  • Enrolling into the competition means accepting all rules and items laid down in this document. 


In compliance with Art. 10, paragraph I of Law Number 675, dated 31/12/96, all personal details collected by Associazione Arena Sferisterio will be treated for the purposes of this competition only. Participants hold the rights described in Art. 13 of the same Law.


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