Wednesday 9 April 2014

Opera Awards 2014

Stuart Skelton receiving award for Male Singer at the Opera Awards: credit Jim Winslet
Stuart Skelton
photo credit Jim Winslet
The second Opera Awards took place on Monday 7 April at the Grosvenor House Hotel, presenting awards for Male Singer, Female Singer, Opera Production and a wide variety of other categories recognising achievement in the operatic field last year. The judges this year were John Allison (editor of Opera Magazine),  Elaine Padmore (former director of opera at Covent Garden), Peter Jonas (former artistic director of Bavarian State Opera), Nicholas Payne (of Opera Europa) and the opera critics Hugh Canning, George Loomis and Fiona Maddocks; all either opera directors or critics so the results probably reflect a certain critical view of the opera world today.

Duncan Rock performing at the Opera Awards - credit Jim Winslet
Duncan Rock
photo credit Jim Winslet
Live performances at the ceremony were given by Phoebe Haines, (an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary Winner), Duncan Rock, (Young Singer of the Year nominee 2013 and 2014), Susana Gasper and Stuart Skelton (winner of the Male Singer Award). Phoebe Haines was accompanied by Marek Ruszczynski, a current National Opera Studio student also receiving an Opera Awards Foundation Bursary. The other performers were all accompanied by Gary Matthewman.

The winner of the Male Singer category was Stuart Skelton (who recently reprised his terrific Peter Grimes at ENO) and the Female Singer was Diana Damrau (a singer whom we don't hear enough of in London). The Young Singer category was won by Jamie Barton (who also won the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World), and the Readers Awards went to tenor Joseph Calleja (recently singing the title role in Gounod's Faust at Covent Garden).

The award for new operatic production went to the Salzburg Festival's production of Bellini's Norma which used a new edition of the opera, period instruments and Cecilia Bartoli in the title role. There were also awards for the productions commemorating the three major anniversaries in 2014, with Aldeburgh Festival's wonderful Peter Grimes on the Beach winning the Britten category, Hamburg Staatsoper's trilogy of early Verdi operas (La battalia di Legnano, I due Foscari and I Lombardi) winning the Verdi category and Vlaamse Opera's Parsifal in the Wagner category. The Wexford Festival's production of Cristina, regina di Svezia by Jacopo Foroni won in the Rediscovered Work category. Andre Tchaikovsky's The Merchant of Venice won the award for the World Premiere opera, in David Pountney's production at the Bregenz Festival.

Other personal awards went to conductor Kirill Petrenko (musical director of the Bavarian State Opera), designer Paul Brown and director Barrie Kosky (Intendant of the Komische Oper, Berlin). Kosky's double bill of Dido and Aeneas and Duke Bluebeard's Castle was presented at the 2013 Edinburgh Festival by Opera Frankfurt.

Company awards including Zurich Opera, the Aix-en-Provence Festival, the chorus of the Bayreuth Festival and the Teatro Sociale di Como for Accessilibility.

You can see edited highlights of the awards ceremony here.

The full list of awards:-

Accessibility - Teatro Sociale di Como
Anniversary Production (Britten) - Peter Grimes on the beach (Aldeburgh Festival)
Anniversary Production (Verdi) - Verdi trilogy – La battaglia di Legnano, I due Foscari, I Lombardi (Hamburg Staatsoper)
Anniversary Production (Wagner) - Parsifal (Vlaamse Opera)
CD (Complete Opera) - Otello (Chicago Symphony Orchestra Resound)
CD (Operatic Recital) - Ann Hallenberg – Hidden Handel (Naïve)
Chorus - Bayreuther Festspiele
Conductor - Kirill Petrenko
Designer - Paul Brown
Director - Barrie Kosky
DVD - David et Jonathas (Bel Air Classiques)
Female Singer - Diana Damrau
Festival - Festival d'Aix-en-Provence
Lifetime Achievement - Gerard Mortier
Male Singer - Stuart Skelton
New Production - Norma (Salzburger Festivalpiele)
Opera Company - Oper Zurich
Philanthropist/Sponsor - Edgar Foster Daniels
Readers’ Award - Joseph Calleja
Rediscovered Work - Cristina, regina di Svezia (Wexford Festival)
World Premiere - The Merchant of Venice (Bregenzer Festspiele)
Young Singer - Jamie Barton

Elsewhere on this blog:

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