Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize

The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize recognizes promising stage directors and designers for their ingenuity in bringing operatic works to life for contemporary audiences.

Teams of creative artists are invited biennially to devise production concepts for specific works from the inherited or American repertoire. Winning teams present their designs to producers throughout the industry in the Director-Designer Showcase at the national Opera Conference and in exhibitions at OPERA America’s National Opera Center.

The program is designed to bring new talent to forefront of the opera field and connect rising directors and designers with producers who can advance their careers.

The Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize is supported by the Tobin Theatre Arts Fund.

Prize Details

The biennial Robert L.B. Tobin Director-Designer Prize is awarded to four teams of stage directors and designers. The teams each receive $2,000 to further develop their production concepts in preparation for the Director-Designer Showcase, as well as complimentary registration and travel stipends to attend the Opera Conference.

Eligibility: Teams of stage directors and designers who have yet to develop a significant body of work in the field of opera, and where at least half of team members are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, may apply.

Next Application Cycle
Application available online: August 2020
Intent to apply deadline: September 3, 2020
Full application deadline: October 15, 2020
Adjudication: November 2020
Applicant notification: December 2020
Showcase presentation: May 19-21, 2021
How to Apply

Review the prize guidelines and application worksheets to apply. All applications must be submitted through OPERA America’s grants dashboard.

Prize Guidelines & Worksheets

For questions about applications or eligibility, contact us at or 646.699.5236.

Meet the Recipients