Despite nominations for the Opera Australia Chorus, Barrie Kosky’s production of The Nose and director Simon Stone, Australians have lost out at this year’s International Opera Awards.
The 2017 winners were announced at a ceremony at the London Coliseum on May 7 and Russian soprano Anna Netrebko was awarded Best Female Singer for the first time since the event was founded in 2012. Australian audiences will have their first chance to hear Netrebko in the flesh this October as she will be making her debut Down Under, together with her husband tenor Yusif Eyvazov, in concerts in Melbourne and Sydney.
Best singer in the male category was awarded to American tenor Lawrence Brownlee, legendary Italian soprano and opera director, Renata Scotto, received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Opera Magazine Readers’ Award went to Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez.
The international jury was comprised of 21 industry professionals based almost exclusively in the Northern Hemisphere and chaired by John Allison, editor of Opera magazine and classical music critic for the UK’s Daily Telegraph. With Deborah Jones, Sydney correspondent of Opera magazine and dance critic with The Australian, being the only Australian member on the panel, it is safe to say that the Opera Australia Chorus had little chance of success.
Founded by opera lover and philanthropist Harry Hyman, the International Opera Awards is an annual event that aims “to raise the profile of opera as an art form, to recognise and reward success in opera, and to generate funds for the Opera Awards Foundation to provide bursaries for aspiring talent in opera from around the world”.
The awards night was a showcase for both current and emerging opera stars, with performances by Australian Heldentenor Stuart Skelton, Female Singer of the Year finalists Anita Rachvelishvili and Stéphanie d’Oustrac, Young Singer of the Year Louise Alder, as well as English bass Brindley Sherratt, American tenor Bryan Hymel, Australian soprano Lauren Fagan and 2014 Opera Awards Foundation Bursary recipient Rhian Lois.
Arnold Schoenberg Chor
EDUCATION & OUTREACH
Natalya Sats Children’s Opera Theatre, Moscow
Wexford Festival Opera
LEADERSHIP IN OPERA
Saariaho: L’amour de loin, d. Robert Lepage (Metropolitan Opera)
Lorenzo Viotti (Conductor)
Opéra de Lyon
OPERA MAGAZINE READERS’ AWARD
Juan Diego Flórez
RECORDING (COMPLETE OPERA)
Pique Dame (BR Klassik)
RECORDING (SOLO RECITAL)
Pretty Yende: A Journey (Sony)
Żeleński: Goplana (Polish National Opera)
SPECIAL AWARD IN MEMORIAM
Thomas Adès: The Exterminating Angel (Salzburg Festival)
John Allison (chair)
Editor, Opera; critic, Daily Telegraph
Artistic Director, Wexford Festival Opera
Intendant, Opera Vlaanderen
Chief music critic, Sunday Times; member of Opera‘s editorial board
Opera critic, Daily Telegraph; member of Opera‘s editorial board
Director of Opera,Opera Holland Park
General Director, Opéra de Lyon
Deputy Arts Editor, The Times
Francisco José Folch
Critic, El Mercurio
General Director, President & CEO, Lyric Opera of Chicago
Sydney correspondent, Opera; national dance critic, The Australian
Joanna C. Lee
Contributor, Opera; columnist Opera (China)
Intendant, Philharmonie Essen, Aalto-Musiktheater & Essener Philharmoniker
Director, Opera Europa
Correspondent, Opera, Opernwelt & Fono Forum
Artistic Director General, Gran Teatre del Liceu
General Director, San Francisco Opera
Critic, The Financial Times; columnist, Opera (China); commentator, RTHK Radio 4
Contributor, Opera & Opera Canada.
CEO & Artistic Director, Royal Swedish Opera