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 Awards, International Opera Awards 2021 - The Winners!

IOA 2021The winners of this year's International Opera Awards were announced last night at an online ceremony hosted by Petroc Trelawney. Founded in 2012 by British entrepreneur Harry Hyman in partnership with Opera Magazine, the Awards count Dame Janet Baker, Plácido Domingo, Sir John Tomlinson and Sir Thomas Allen among their patrons, with last night's ceremony featuring presentations from Dame Felicity Lott, Ermonela Jaho and Brindley Sherratt, and streamed performances from artists including American dramatic mezzo Jamie Barton (winner of the Readers' Award) and Polish countertenor Jakub Józef Orliński (whose Erato album Facce d’amore won Solo Recording of the Year).

You can browse the complete list of nominees 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 of the Year

Winner

Stéphane Degout (Hamlet), Sabine Devieilhe (Ophélie), Laurent Alvaro (Claudius), Sylvie Brunet-Grupposo (Gertrude), Nicolas Legoux (Polonius), Julien Behr (Laërte), Jérôme Varnier (Ghost of Old Hamlet), Yoann Dubruque (Horatio), Kevin Amiel (Marcellus)

Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Choeur Les Eléments, Louis Langrée, Cyril Teste

Available Format: DVD Video

Stéphane Degout (Hamlet), Sabine Devieilhe (Ophélie), Laurent Alvaro (Claudius), Sylvie Brunet-Grupposo (Gertrude), Nicolas Legoux (Polonius), Julien Behr (Laërte), Jérôme Varnier (Ghost of Old Hamlet), Yoann Dubruque (Horatio), Kevin Amiel (Marcellus)

Orchestre des Champs-Elysées, Choeur Les Eléments, Louis Langrée, Cyril Teste

Available Format: Blu-ray

Nominated

Marlis Petersen (Leonore), Maximilian Schmitt (Florestan), Dimitry Ivashchenko (Rocco), Johannes Weisser (Pizarro), Robin Johannsen (Marzelline), Johannes Chum (Jaquino), Tareq Nazmi (Fernando)

Freiburger Barockorchester, Zürcher Sing-Akademie, René Jacobs

Available Format: 2 CDs

1859 version

Benjamin Bernheim (Faust), Véronique Gens (Marguerite), Andrew Foster-Williams (Méphistophélès), Jean-Sébastien Bou (Valentin), Juliette Mars (Siebel), Ingrid Perruche (Marthe), Anas Séguin (Wagner/Un mendiant)

Les Talens Lyriques, Flemish Radio Choir, Christophe Rousset

Available Formats: 3 CDs + Book, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Four-Act Italian Version

Tina Gorina (Halka), Monika Ledzion-Porczynska (Zofia), Matheus Pompeu (Jontek), Robert Gierlach (Janusz), Rafal Siwek (Stolnik), Karol Kozlowski (Peasant), Mateusz Stachura (Dziemba)

Europa Galante, Fabio Biondi

Available Format: 2 CDs

John Brancy (Mr Fox), Krista River (Mrs Fox), Andrew Craig Brown (Farmer Boggs), Edwin Vega (Farmer Bunce), Gabriel Preisser (Farmer Bean), Elizabeth Futral (Miss Hedgehog), Tynan Davis (Rita the Rat), Theo Lebow (Mr Porcupine), Andrey Nemzer (Agnes the Digger), Gail Novak Mosites (Mavis the Tractor), John Dooley (Badger the Miner), Jonathan Blalock (Burrowing Mole)

Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Children's Choir, Gil Rose

Available Format: 2 CDs

Patricia Racette (Anna Maurrant), Paulo Szot (Frank Maurrant), Mary Bevan (Rose Maurrant), Jeni Bern (Greta Fiorentino), Lucy Schaufer (Emma Jones), Joel Prieto (Sam Kaplan), Michael J. Scott (Lippo Fiorentino), Tyler Clarke (Daniel Buchanan), Marta Fontanals-Simmons (Jennie Hildebrand), Eric Greene (Henry Davis), Richard Burkhard (Harry Easter), Sarah-Marie Maxwell (Mae Jones) & Dominic Lamb (Dick McGann)

Pequenos y Jovenes Cantores de la JORCAM & Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Real de Madrid Tim Murray, John Fulljames

Available Format: DVD Video

Patricia Racette (Anna Maurrant), Paulo Szot (Frank Maurrant), Mary Bevan (Rose Maurrant), Jeni Bern (Greta Fiorentino), Lucy Schaufer (Emma Jones), Joel Prieto (Sam Kaplan), Michael J. Scott (Lippo Fiorentino), Tyler Clarke (Daniel Buchanan), Marta Fontanals-Simmons (Jennie Hildebrand), Eric Greene (Henry Davis), Richard Burkhard (Harry Easter), Sarah-Marie Maxwell (Mae Jones) & Dominic Lamb (Dick McGann)

Pequenos y Jovenes Cantores de la JORCAM & Orchestra and Chorus of Teatro Real de Madrid Tim Murray, John Fulljames

Available Format: Blu-ray

Recording (Solo Recital)

Winner

Jakub Józef Orliński (countertenor), Il Pomo d’Oro, Maxim Emelyanychev

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC, Hi-Res+ FLAC

Nominated

Benjamin Bernheim (tenor), PKF Prague Philharmonia, Emmanuel Villaume

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Daniel Behle (tenor), L'Orfeo Barockorchester, Michi Gaigg

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Strozzi, Cavalli, Cesti, Marini, Merula

Emöke Baráth (soprano), Il Pomo d'Oro, Francesco Corti

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Julie Fuchs (soprano), Orchestre national d'Île-de-France, Enrique Mazzola

Available Formats: MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Reinoud Van Mechelen (tenor), A Nocte Temporis

Available Formats: CD, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Female Singer of the Year - Lise Davidsen

Lise Davidsen

The Norwegian lyric-dramatic soprano made a hugely impressive stage-debut as Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio at Covent Garden immediately before lockdown, and was back in the studio recording the opera under socially-distanced conditions last summer; her second Decca recording (featuring arias by Beethoven, Cherubini, Verdi, Wagner and Mascagni) was released to great acclaim in March, and later this week she will sing Sieglinde in a live-stream of Act One of Die Walküre from the Bayerische Staatsoper, opposite Jonas Kaufmann and Georg Zeppenfeld.

Nominated - Maria Agresta, Christine Goerke, Kate Lindsey, Lisette Oropesa, Elza van den Heever

Male Singer of the Year - Javier Camarena

Javier Camarena

The Mexican bel canto tenor's late-night performance of a high-wire aria from Bellini's Il Pirata (complete with an endearing thank-you to his tolerant neighbours!) was one of the highlights of the Metropolitan Opera's At-Home Gala last April, and you can catch him singing arias by Mozart, Rossini and Verdi at the Gran Teatre del Liceu's online season-presentation tomorrow evening. Camarena's debut solo recording Contrabandista was nominated for the solo recital category at the 2018 Awards, and we hear that an album of Donizetti arias is in the pipeline for release later this year...

Nominated - Carlos Álvarez, Stephen Gould, René Pape, George Petean, Russell Thomas

Readers' Award - Jamie Barton

Jamie Barton

The American dramatic mezzo (who was also crowned Personality of the Year at the 2020 BBC Music Magazine Awards) has attracted an enormous, diverse fan-base over the past few years, thanks to her passionate advocacy for body positivity and LGBTQ visibility as well as her powerful voice and exuberant stage-presence. She contributed a sizzling Habanera from Carmen to last night's ceremony, and will be back on stage this summer making her role-debut as Brangäne in Tristan und Isolde at Aix-en-Provence.

You can read our interview with Jamie and the composer Jake Heggie about their recent album Unexpected Shadows here.

Nominated - Ildar Abdrazakov, Cecilia Bartoli, Elīna Garanča, Jonas Kaufmann, Karita Mattila, Anna Netrebko, Erwin Schrott, Michael Spyres, Bryn Terfel

Conductor of the Year - Kirill Petrenko

Kirill Petrenko

Alongside his position as Chief Conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Russian-Austrian conductor has also served as General Music Director of the Bayerische Staatsoper since 2013, where recent triumphs have included a recording of Berg's Lulu and a widely-praised live-streamed Parsifal, starring Jonas Kaufmann, Nina Stemme, Christian Gerhaher, and René Pape.

Nominated - Alain Altinoglu, Riccardo Frizza, Edward Gardner, Oksana Lyniv, Joana Mallwitz

Lifetime Achievement Award - Bernard Haitink

Bernard Haitink

The much-loved Dutch conductor gave his farewell performances shortly after his ninetieth birthday in 2019, wrapping up a sixty-five year career which included several decades as Music Director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and ten years at the helm of the Glyndebourne Festival. In his acceptance speech last night he declared that 'some of the deepest and most moving experiences in my musical life have been in the opera house'.