Call for Entries – Artists and Designers – You’re Invited!


LA Opera is hosting a contest for currently enrolled college students in Southern California!

You are invited to submit artwork for LA Opera’s spring production of Verdi’s Rigoletto! The winning submission will be featured on the cover of the show’s performance program and displayed at the home of LA Opera, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

"Rigoletto" returns to LA Opera in the Mark Lamos staging previously presented in Los Angeles in 2010. (Photo: Robert Millard)

Rigoletto returns to LA Opera in the Mark Lamos staging previously presented in Los Angeles in 2010. (Photo: Robert Millard)

This contest is made possible with the generous support of GRoW @ Annenberg.

What will you win?
The winning submissions will receive a combination of cash and recognition at the show.

  • First Prize:$5,000
  • Second Prize:$2,000
  • Third Prize:$1,000

Winners will be invited to attend the opening night performance of Rigoletto (May 12, 2018) and the Cast Supper that follows the show.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE EXTENDED: March 25, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

Judges: Submissions will be judged by a panel of art, opera, marketing and design experts, including Gregory Annenberg Weingarten (GRoW @ Annenberg, Annenberg Foundation); Regina Weingarten, LA Opera Board member; Tim Johnson, LA Opera Board member and Film Director at DreamWorks Animation; Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera President and CEO; Diane Bergman, LA Opera VP of Marketing and Communications; Keith Rainville, Associate Director of Marketing, Brand and Design. The decisions of the panel are final.


We’re looking for artwork that captures the story (below) and reflects LA Opera’s production of Rigoletto, a timeless tragedy of sacrifice, betrayal and revenge. The colors are bold and vibrant. The costumes are traditional, but the set is as stark as the story. You can see more photos here.

Story: The Duke of Mantua is a sleaze who takes advantage of women. At his castle he takes a married woman into his bedroom in front of her husband. Charged with distracting everyone, the court jester Rigoletto teases her angry husband, but the tables turn when other members of the king’s court start teasing Rigoletto about his secret lover. They have it halfway right—she’s a secret, but she’s not his lover, she’s his daughter, Gilda.

The court members enlist Rigoletto to help them kidnap a married woman for the Duke’s pleasure. He agrees and they give him a mask, which blinds and confuses him. Little does he know they are tricking him into helping them kidnap Gilda. The court members, still thinking that Gilda is his lover, not his daughter, laugh when they deliver their prize to the Duke.

The Duke knows exactly who Gilda is as he’s been wooing her, and takes advantage of her. Being innocent, she really doesn’t understand what’s going on and tells her dad, Rigoletto. Furious, Rigoletto hires someone to kill the Duke, but learning of the plan, Gilda steps in to take the knife for the Duke instead. Rigoletto laments the karma that has befallen him.

George Gagnidze as the title character in Rigoletto (2010); Photo: Robert Millard

George Gagnidze as the title character in Rigoletto (2010) (Photo: Robert Millard)

Your file should be created with the following in mind.

  • All submissions should be original art/illustrations.
  • The winning designer should be able to submit a layered file (.psd, eps, .ai) of the winning design.
  • Respect copyright. DO NOT submit copyrighted work, including images or promotional material from the show (e.g. no use of images from posters, advertisements or LA Opera’s website).
  • Do NOT use stock images or clip art.
  • Do NOT use photographs.
  • No profanity, vulgar or hate language
  • No nudity or explicit sexual language, images or graphics
  • Do NOT use the LA Opera logo
  • The artwork does NOT need to include the opera’s title.


  • Art size: 8.375” x 11.125” (0.125” bleed on each side adds 0.25” to both width and height).
  • Final trim size: 8.125” h x 10.875” vertical.


Once set into the layout of our program, the top 2 inches and bottom 2 inches will have print over the illustration, so your work should not have complicated material that would make our text illegible. The top and bottom 2 inch areas should not contain anything “important” in the illustration, since it would be partially covered.


Initial submissions should be sent via e-mail to

Qualifying submission must include:

  • Artist’s name
  • School currently attending
  • Contact information (e-mail, phone, address)
  • Artwork: maximum file size: 2mb, screen resolution, flattened .jpg

Winners will be asked to submit artwork as follows:

  • Minimum resolution – 600dpi for non-vector art.
  • Accepted file formats: .jpg, jpeg, .tif, .tiff, .eps, .png
  • .TIFF (or .TIF) formats should be flattened
  • .EPS formats must have all type converted to vector paths (traced or outlined)
  • RGB colorspace only
  • Max file size is 60mb

Eligibility: Students must be enrolled (full-time or part-time) in a Southern California college or university at the time of the submission deadline (March 25, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.).

Employees of LA Opera and their immediate families are not eligible.

Copyright: The artist retains all copyrights to their artwork without exception.

Non-exclusive Permissions: By entering this art competition, you are granting LA Opera a non-exclusive perpetual license to reproduce images of your artwork in any context, including but not limited to the following: on the cover of our program, on our promotional video montages, on our blog and on our website in the marketing of future similar art competitions to the general public. Artwork will not be used for any other purpose than that which is stated here. All winning entries may be displayed on LA Opera’s website and social media channels. Each entry becomes part of the public, historical / archival LA Opera program.

Prize Payments: Cash prizes will be awarded at the Cast Supper following the opening night performance. In the event the winner cannot attend, a check will be mailed to the winner within 14 days of the opening night performance.

Taxes: Winners shall be solely responsible for all federal, state, and local taxes.

"Rigoletto" returns to LA Opera in the Mark Lamos staging previously presented in Los Angeles in 2010. (Photo: Robert

Rigoletto returns to LA Opera in the Mark Lamos staging previously presented in Los Angeles in 2010. (Photo: Robert Millard)


Is there a fee to enter the contest? No – contest submissions are free. There is no fee to enter.

Can I submit more than one entry? Yes – you can submit more than one piece, but winners can only win one of the prizes, so we recommend you send us your favorite.

Do I have to include the singers/principal cast? No – there’s no need to include the cast members. When our teams design, it’s often before we are ready to confirm the cast. Get creative…we want to see how you solve the challenge.

Can I observe a rehearsal to get a better sense of it? No – unfortunately, rehearsals for the show don’t begin until long after our production timelines. For each show, our own artists have to conceive artwork before they see the staged piece. They receive the brief, much like the details outlined in the contest blog and have to conceive their artwork from there.

Can I create artwork as a painting or does it have to be a digital illustration? Yes – You can create your art in any medium you want to use. However, your piece must be submitted as a digital piece and comply with the specs outlined above. And digital illustrations are welcome too.

Do you have to be a student to submit an entry? Yes – this contest is only for students enrolled in a program at the time of the entry deadline.

Have additional questions? Ask below or send an e-mail to

LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.
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