Friday 16 January 2015

International Opera Awards

Duncan Rock and Susana Gasper at the 2014 International Opera Awards
Duncan Rock and Susana Gasper at the 2014 International Opera Awards
International Opera Awards 2015 have been announced. There are 19 categories with around six finalists in each. They were selected by a jury consisting of John Allison (Opera magazine), Peter Alward (Salzburg Easter Festival), Per Boye Hansen (Norwegian National Opera and Ballet), Kathryn Harries (National Opera Studio)  Evans Mirageas (Cincinnati Opera), Nicholas Payne (Opera Europa), plus the critics Hugh Canning, George Loomis, Erna Metdepenninghen and Hugo Shirley. The nominations are intended to reflect the artists career, so that for singers and directors, no particular production is given. It is great to see ENO featured so heavily in the lists, and nice to have a counter-tenor in the male singer category.

In the CD (Complete Opera) category it is good to see Offenbach's Fantasio [links go to Planet Hugill reviews] from Opera Rara, as well as Handel's Tamerlano from Naive. Cecilia Bartoli's St Petersburg makes the cut in the CD (Operatic Recital) as does Joyce DiDonato's Stella di Napoli, Franco Fagioli's Porpora and Carolyn Sampson's Arias for Marie Fel. The Rediscovered Work category includes Opera Rara's revival of Donizetti's Les Martyrs as well as nuggets of rare Rossini, Saint-Saens, Martinu, Faccio and Barbieri. The World Premiere category includes Julian Anderson's Thebans, and John Metcalf's Under Milkwood.

It is nice to see the chorus of both English National Opera and Welsh National Opera in the Chorus category. And ENO pops up in the Opera Company category too, as well as featuring in the New Production category. This latter includes ENO's Benvenuto Cellini as well as Birmingham Opera Company's Khovanskygate and the Met's Prince Igor.

Joyce DiDonato pops up on the Female Singer category, along with Anja Harteros and Anna Netrebko, whilst the Male Singer category includes Iestyn Davies (impressive in Glyndebourne's Rinaldo), Michael Spyres (impressive in ENO's Benvenuto Cellini and Opera Rara's Les Martyrs), John Osborn, Lawrence Brownlee and Ludovic Tezier - how to choose! There are no surprises in the Director category, David Alden, Calixto Bieito, Robert Carsen, Richard Jones, Christoph Loy and Graham Vick. The Young Singer category has Angel Blue, David Butt Philip, Justina Gringyte and Nicky Spence amongst those competing.

You can see the full list at the Opera Awards website. The awards ceremony takes place on Sunday 26 April at the Savoy Theatre.

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