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 Awards, International Opera Awards 2022 - The Winners!

International Opera Awards 2022The winners of this year's International Opera Awards were announced on Monday at a ceremony hosted by Petroc Trelawny at the Teatro Real Madrid. Founded in 2012 by British entrepreneur Harry Hyman in partnership with Opera Magazine, the Awards count Dame Janet Baker, Sir John Tomlinson and Sir Thomas Allen among their patrons, with last night's event featuring performances from artists including Francesco Demuro, Jessica Pratt, Nardus Williams and Xabier Anduaga.

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, Readers' Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award.

Recording of the Year - Solo Recital

Michael Spyres (baritenor), Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Marko Letonja

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

Nominated

Benjamin Bernheim (tenor), Orchestra del Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Frédéric Chaslin

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

Marianne Crebassa (mezzo), Orchestre et Choeur du National du Capitole de Toulouse, Ben Glassberg; with Stanislas de Barbeyrac (tenor), Thibaut Garcia (guitar), Alphonse Cemin (piano)

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

Elsa Dreisig (soprano), Kammerorchester Basel, Louis Langrée

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

Sondra Radvanovsky (soprano), Lyric Opera of Chicago, Riccardo Frizza

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Jonathan Tetelman (tenor), Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, Karel Mark Chichon

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

Recording of the Year - Complete Opera

Violette Polchi (Caprice), Sheva Tehoval (Fantasia), Matthieu Lecroart (V'Lam), Pierre Derhet (Quipasseparla), Raphael Bremard (Microscope), Thibaud Desplantes (Cosmos), Marie Lenormand (Popotte), Christophe Poncet de Solages (Cactus), Ludivine Gombert (Flamma / Adja)

Chœur et Orchestre national Montpellier Occitanie, Pierre Dumoussaud

Available Formats: 2 CDs + Book, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Nominated

Claudia Boyle, Gavan Ring, Peter Tantsits, Stephen Richardson, Clare Presland, Alan Ewing, Hilary Summers

Irish Chamber Orchestra, André de Ridder

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

Maximilian Schmitt (Max), Polina Pasztircsák (Agathe), Kateryna Kasper (Ännchen), Dimitry Ivashchenko (Kaspar), Yannick Debus (Kilian), Matthias Winckhler (Kuno), Christian Immler (Hermit), Max Urlacher (Samiel)

Freiburger Barockorchester, Zürcher Sing-Akademie, René Jacobs

Available Formats: 2 CDs, MP3, FLAC, Hi-Res FLAC

Julien Behr (Pelléas), Vannina Santoni (Mélisande), Alexandre Duhamel (Golaud), Marie-Ange Todorovitch (Geneviève), Jean Teitgen (Arkel), Hadrien Joubert (Yniold)

Les Siècles, Chœur de l'Opéra de Lille François-Xavier Roth

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

Asmik Grigorian (Rusalka), Eric Cutler (The Prince), Maxim Kuzmin-Karavaev (Vodník), Katarina Dalayman (Ježibaba), Karita Mattila (The Foreign Princess)

Teatro Real, Ivor Bolton, Christof Loy

Also available on Blu-ray.

Available Format: 2 DVD Videos

Sara Jakubiak (Francesca), Jonathan Tetelman (Paolo), Ivan Inverardi (Giovanni), Charles Workman (Malatestino dall’Occhio)

Deutsche Oper Berlin, Carlo Rizzi, Christof Loy

Also available on Blu-ray.

Available Format: DVD Video

Female Singer of the Year - Sabine Devieilhe

Sabine Devieilhe

The French soprano's season has included Morgana in Handel's Alcina and Cleopatra in his Giulio Cesare, the title-role in Delibes's Lakmé, and Ilia in Mozart's Idomeneo at Aix-en-Provence; her recent recordings include a Gramophone Award-winning St Matthew Passion and a much-praised Bach and Handel album (both with her husband Raphaël Pichon and Pygmalion), Mahler's Fourth Symphony with François-Xavier Roth and Les Siècles, and a ravishing cameo in Schubert's Ave Maria on the Male Singer of the Year's latest recital-recording (also with Pichon and Pygmalion)...

Browse Sabine Devieilhe's complete discography here.

Nominated - Svetlana Aksenova, Stéphanie D’Oustrac, Federica Lombardi, Aušrinė Stundytė, Pretty Yende

Male Singer of the Year - Stéphane Degout

Stéphane DegoutDegout began the 2021/22 season as Ford in Barrie Kosky's production of Falstaff (conducted by Daniele Rustioni, of whom more below...), swiftly followed by a hugely impressive Wozzeck in Toulouse which was described as 'an absolute victory' by Diapason and prompted Le Monde to predict that 'the French baritone will be the Wozzeck of the next decade'. It's been a rich and varied year on the recordings front, too, with his recently-released Mein Traum (featuring music by Schubert, Weber and Schumann) among my own personal favourites of 2022, his Christus on that award-winning St Matthew Passion receiving widespread praise, and his Ravel mélodies with Cédric Tiberghien looking set for numerous award-nominations next year...

Browse Stéphane Degout's complete discography here.

Nominated - Benjamin Bernheim, Allan Clayton, Enea Scala, Russell Thomas, Georg Zeppenfeld

Conductor of the Year - Daniele Rustioni

Daniele Rustioni

Currently Principal Conductor at the Lyon Opera, the young Italian has had what he described as a 'very intense' year, 'conducting eight gorgeous operatic titles in less than ten months' - his season included Wagner's Tannhäuser and Verdi's Rigoletto & Falstaff at his home theatre, Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at the Metropolitan Opera, Berlioz's Les Troyens in Munich, and Verdi's Otello at Covent Garden. In his acceptance-speech he thanked his violinist wife Francesca Dego as well as 'these genius composers for giving us food for our soul and our minds, and also for keeping food on the table after COVID'.

Nominated - Edward Gardner, Eun Sun Kim, Oksana Lyniv, Joana Mallwitz, Carlo Rizzi

Director of the Year - Stefan Herheim

Stefan Herheim

The Norwegian director has just been appointed Intendant at the Theater an der Wien, where his recent work has included a production of Janáček’s's The Cunning Little Vixen: reviewing the opening night, BachTrack declared that 'Herheim’s maiden voyage in his new capacity confirms his ability to deftly negotiate a less-than-straightforward work with care and ambition and add his own voice enthusiastically to the mix'.

His 2021 staging of Wagner's Ring Cycle for the Deutsche Oper (conducted by Donald Runnicles and starring Nina Stemme, Clay Hilley, Iain Paterson and Brandon Jovanovich) was released on DVD and Blu-ray earlier this month.

Nominated - Rosetta Cucchi, Tobias Kratzer, James Robinson, Simon Stone & Adele Thomas

Readers' Award - Pene Pati

Pene Pati

The young Samoan tenor's self-titled debut album (released on Warner Classics in April and featuring arias by Verdi, Gounod, Meyerbeer, Rossini and others) won him an army of fans, as well as an Opus Klassik Young Artist of the Year Award - Opera Magazine applauded his 'distinctively clear, marvellously sunny timbre..., innate musicality and exceptionally vivid textual projection', whilst BBC Music Magazine detected 'a generosity of spirit not always to be taken for granted with tenors'. A number of roles showcased on the album have featured in his 2021/22 season, including Gounod's Roméo and Aménophis in Rossini's Moïse et Pharaon, with the Duke in Rigoletto and Des Grieux in Massenet's Manon scheduled for next year...

Nominated - Asmik Grigorian, Saioa Hernandez, Jonas Kaufmann, Lisette Oropesa, Golda Schultz, Andreas Schager, Michael Spyres

Lifetime Achievement Award - Dame Janet Baker

Dame Janet Baker

It's four decades since the beloved mezzo made her farewell operatic appearance (as Gluck's Orfeo at Glyndebourne), and Petroc Trelawny pointed out that she has spent the intervening years 'continuing to inspire generations of singers to emulate the high standards which she set for herself, and to support the art-form in which she has given so much'. In her acceptance-speech, Baker reflected: 'I look back at those working and years and my mind is full of the joy they brought me; I learned something useful and valuable from all of my colleagues, and I miss every one of them so much. I feel tonight as a very special gift to me'.

Browse Dame Janet Baker's complete available discography here.