The winners of the International Opera Awards 2015 were announced yesterday, with actor Richard E. Grant hosting a glitzy ceremony from London’s Savoy Theatre. Notable recipients included Speight Jenkins (Lifetime Achievement); Komische Oper Berlin (Opera Company of the Year); Anja Harteros (best Female Singer); and Den Norske Opera (Accessibility award).
Among the various live performances staged to accompany the presentations were sets from Readers’ Award winner Alexandra Kurzak; American tenor Lawrence Brownlee; Young Singer of the Year Justina Gringyte (pictured above); and John Osborn. The pianist for these performances was Richard Peirson, playing a piano donated by Steinway, and the ceremony was directed by Matthew Freeman.
As well as recognising global excellence in opera, the annual event also raises funds for the Opera Awards Foundation, aimed at supporting emerging artists in the early stages of their opera careers. The foundation was set up in 2012 by Harry Hyman and John Allison to provide bursaries or grants, based on financial need, to applicant individuals or groups demonstrating in need of further training or other career development assistance.
The full list of yesterday’s winners is as follows:
Den Norske Opera
CD (Complete Opera)
Offenbach: Fantasio, Opera Rara
CD (Operatic Recital)
Anna Bonitatibus: Semiramide: La Signora Regale, deutsche harmonia mundi
Welsh National Opera
Strauss: Elektra, Bel Air Classiques
Lotte de Beer
Khovanskygate, Birmingham Opera Company
Komische Oper Berlin
Ann Ziff (Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation)
Jonas Kaufmann; Aleksandra Kurzak
Rossini: Aureliano in Palmira, Rossini Opera Festival
Richard Strauss Anniversary Production
Die Frau ohne Schatten, Royal Opera
Boesmans: Au Monde, La Monnaie
Photo © Lukasz Rajchert