// Michael Seirer is an Austrian photographer specialising in event photography. Michael loves the arts and is always happy to have an opportunity to photograph a performance. He shared a set of photos of the Nestroy Prize award ceremony 2019, the most important Austrian prize for extraordinary achievements on stage.
Telling a story is the main motivation behind Michael´s photography. It took him some years though to realise that even though a lot of photographers are at the same venue, every single one tells a different story in their pictures. So Michael tries to be conscious about discovering his version of the story of any given situation, and internalising this in a visceral way.
“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”
What draws you to the arts?
“It shows me different views of the world, surprises me, touches me. I love the visual arts, but books can do a similar thing to me.”
What impressed you most about the Nestroy theatre prize event?
“What was really interesting to me were all the extraordinary actors around me that I could take photographs of.”
The Nestroy Prize is an annual even that recognises the crème de la crème of Austrian stages. It is a bit like an Austrian version of the U.S. Tony Awards, the British Olivier Awards, or the French Molière Awards, named after Johann Nepomuk Nestroy, a highly popular Austrian singer, actor and playwright of the Biedermeier period. The Nestroy award is given in 14 disciplines, among them Best German-language performance, Best direction, Best actor, Best young talent, Lifetime achievement, and several others. There is also a category for “most popular with audiences”, where viewers get to vote on their favourite nominees.
The Nestroy Prize has been awarded since 2000 for outstanding achievements in Viennese and other Austrian theatres. Over the past two decades, more than 230 award winners have received the coveted trophy. In 2019, when Michael was able to document the award gala event at the venerable Theater an der Wien.
In case you are interested, the award winners are listed on the official website of the Nestroy Prize. In 2020, of course, the prizes could not be awarded at the theatre due to the pandemic, and were instead presented online. Luckily, we have Michael´s photographs to show the glory of the real-life event.
Photos may be cropped for layout. Click on the photos to see the full images.