Yesterday, the finalists were announced for the 2018 International Opera Awards, and we’re thrilled to see several familiar faces among them. The winners will be announced at a red-carpet ceremony on Monday 9 April 2018 at the London Coliseum. Presented by Petroc Trelawny and directed by Ella Marchment, the evening will feature performances by some of opera’s greatest names. Booking opens on 2 February.
Deborah Warner’s new production of Billy Budd – which premiered at Teatro Real with a cast featuring Brindley Sherratt, Toby Spence, Duncan Rock & David Soar – is a finalist in the New Production category. As well as being a new production, this was the first time Britten’s opera had ever been performed at the house, and won rave reviews: “British director Deborah Warner has created what might be the Billy Budd of the next decade, an instant classic that will tour to Paris, Helsinki and Rome in the years to come.”
Other new productions in the running include William Kentridge’s Wozzeck (in which Asmik Grigorian made her festival debut in the role of Marie), and Claus Guth’s La clemenza di Tito at Glyndebourne (conducted by Robin Ticciati).
Joyce DiDonato – whose year has included multiple new roles, ECHO Klassik and Gramophone Award wins, and an extensive tour of Europe with her In War & Peace: Harmony Through Music project – is once again nominated for the Readers’ Award, the winner of which will be chosen by a public vote on the International Opera Awards website.
Joyce receives a second nod, in the Recording (complete work) category, for Berlioz’s Les Troyens, which was recorded live in April 2017, with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg under the baton of John Nelson, an acknowledged master of Berlioz’s music.
Released in May 2017, Sophie Bevan’s debut solo disc Perfido! – described by critics as “glorious” – is up for the Recording (solo recital) award, alongside recordings from Joyce El-Khoury, Michael Spyres, Juan Diego Flórez, Véronique Gens, Jonas Kaufmann and Camilla Tilling.
Conducted by David Afkham in his Teatro Real Madrid debut last Spring, Pierre Audi’s production of Alberto Ginastera’s Bomarzo is up for the Rediscovered Work award. Prior to the performances in Madrid, the opera had not been heard on a European stage since 1976.
Brett Dean’s Hamlet – which had its world premiere at Glyndebourne last summer with a cast including Dame Sarah Connolly and Rod Gilfry – is among the operas up for World Premiere award. Following its highly-successful run at the Glyndebourne Festival, the production was taken on tour, conducted by Duncan Ward.
Last year’s winners include Louise Alder, who picked up the gong for Young Singer, and Thomas Adès, who took home world premiere of the year for The Exterminating Angel.
Congratulations to all the finalists! You can view the full list here.