2013 Santa Fe Opera productions. Courtesy/SFO
They are to be called “The Operas,” the new International Opera Awards established in London to celebrate the work of opera companies throughout the world.
The brainchild of British businessman Harry Hyman, of Nexus Group, John Allison, editor of OPERA magazine, and the London Evening Standard, the first nominees have already been received, judges chosen, and the awards ceremony scheduled for April 22 in London.
“The Operas” are ambitious in scope; nominations are invited from all over the globe. True excellence in opera is seldom celebrated enough, and new and emerging artists need all the help they can get, the announcement said.
“Those of us who make our living bringing opera to the public, and the millions who attend performances applaud Messrs. Hyman and Allison for creating a way to highlight the diverse and fascinating world of opera,” General Director Charles MacKay said. “And of course, we are pleased that The Santa Fe Opera has been cited in the Festival Category along with our distinguished colleagues in Aix-en-Provence (France), Garsington (Great Britain), Wexford (Ireland) and Salzburg (Austria).”
The Metropolitan Opera, cited for accessibility and best opera orchestra, and Minnesota Opera, for the world premiere of Silent Night, are the only other American companies nominated.
Many of the nominees, in categories which include best female singer, male singer, conductor and director, are among the most recognized names in opera today.
Three will participate in The Santa Fe Opera’s 2013 season. Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato (nominated as best female singer and CD) sings the title role in La Donna del Lago, and conductors Leo Hussain and Evan Rogister (both cited as best newcomers) lead La Traviata and the world premiere of Oscar, respectively. Bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, who starred last year in the title role of Maometto II, is nominated as best male singer.
According to Allison, 1,500 nominations were received from opera professionals and enthusiasts in 41 countries.
Ten judges who will choose the winners are opera industry professionals. San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley is the only American.
Others are Peter Alward, Managing Director, Salzburg Easter Festival; Joan Matabosch, Artistic Director, Gran Teatre del Liceu; and Guus Mostart, Manager, Nationale Reisopera, Enschede; singers Dame Anne Evans and Kathryn Harries, and writers Allison, Hugh Canning, Rupert Christiansen and Andrew Clements.
For a complete listing of the categories and nominees, visit www.operaawards.org.