Awards, International Opera Awards 2018 - The Winners!
The winners of this year's International Opera Awards were announced last night at a star-studded ceremony at the London Coliseum (home of English National Opera). Founded in 2012 by British entrepreneur Harry Hyman in partnership with Opera Magazine, the Awards count Dame Janet Baker, Plácido Domingo, Mirella Freni and Dame Felicity Lott among their patrons, with last night's ceremony including presentations from Gerald Finley, Susan Bullock and Stuart Skelton, and live performances from sopranos Anush Hovhannisyan, Camilla Tilling and Anne Sophie Duprels, bass Brindley Sherratt and Canadian mezzo Wallis Giunta (who won Young Artist of the Year).
You can browse the complete results here, but here's our brief overview of the winners in the recordings categories, plus details of the Artists of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award.
Recording (Complete Opera)
Recording (Solo Recital)
Winner - Malin Byström
The Swedish soprano took Covent Garden by storm earlier this year with her fearlessly sung and acted Salome – Strauss’s ‘sixteen-year-old princess with the voice of an Isolde’ was rather a departure for a singer who’d previously specialised in Mozart, Rossini and the lighter Verdi roles, but Byström acquitted herself magnificently. Other engagements this season include the Marschallin and the title-role in Giordano’s Fedora (both in Stockholm).
Nominated - Carmen Giannattasio, Barbara Hannigan, Hui He, Ermonela Jaho, Eva-Maria Westbroek
Winner - Piotr Beczała
Like his female counterpart, the Polish tenor has also been branching out into heavier repertoire of late: his 2017-18 season includes further performances of the title-role in Lohengrin in Zurich (his role-debut in Dresden was captured on DVD and nominated for the Complete Recording category) and Maurizio in Adriana Lecouvreur (which he’ll reprise at The Met in 2019).
Nominated - Günther Groissböck, Peter Mattei, Eric Owens, Simone Piazzola, Michael Spyres
Winner - Pretty Yende
The enchanting South African soprano’s recent album Dreams (a collection of arias by Gounod, Bellini, Meyerbeer and Donizetti) was a Sunday Times Record of the Year in 2017, and the latter composer has featured prominently in her year on stage: she’s had huge successes in the title-role of Lucia di Lammermoor in Berlin, Adina in L’elisir d’amore at Covent Garden and The Met, and Marie in La Fille du régiment.
Nominated - Cecilia Bartoli, Joyce DiDonato, Bryan Hymel, Ambrogio Maestri, Karita Mattila, René Pape, Luca Pisaroni
Winner - Vladimir Jurowski
Jurowski’s recent triumphs in opera have included the world premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet (the winner of the World Premiere Award) at Glyndebourne in 2017, Enescu’s Oedipe at the Festival Enescu in Bucharest, Berg’s Wozzeck at last summer’s Salzburg Festival, and two Prokofiev rarities: The Fiery Angel in Munich and Semyon Kotko in Amsterdam.
Nominated - Marc Albrecht, Daniele Gatti, Fabio Luisi, Kazushi Ono, Simone Young
The Spanish mezzo (now 83, and still regularly teaching masterclasses) received a standing ovation as she took to the stage following exquisite footage of her singing Cherubino’s Voi che sapete in the 1960s; as well as Mozart's libidinous page-boy, Berganza’s signature-roles included Rosina, Cenerentola, Carmen, Zerlina, and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther.