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Music

"Opera Oscars" awarded

The 2nd annual International Opera Awards were given on Monday evening (7.02.2014). As in the premiere year, the winners included several German artists and opera companies.

Conductor Kirill Petrenko

Honored as "Best Operatic Conductor:" Kirill Petrenko

The gala in London's Grosvenor House Hotel, hosted by Welsh tenor Wynne Evans, was attended by 700 guests, among them a host of classical music stars.

Kirill Petrenko, artistic director at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, was honored as Best Conductor, while the Bayreuth Festival Chorus was recognized as Best Operatic Chorus. The international jury of experts from the opera world awarded the distinction of Best Male Singer to Australian Heldentenor Skelton Stuart; Best Female Singer is the German soprano Diana Damrau.

Australian Barrie Kosky, artistic director at Berlin's Komische Oper, was named Best Director. The prize for Best Opera Company went to the Zurich Opera and Best Festival was the "festival international d'art lyrique" in Aix-en-Provence. American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton was chosen as Best Young Singer.

Soprano Diana Damrau at a rehearsal in Salzburg

Soprano Diana Damrau at a rehearsal in Salzburg

Young Talents and Lifetime Achievement

Showcasing the lively international operatic scene, the gala was punctuated with live performances by prize winner Stuart Skelton, by Duncan Rock, a nominee in the Best Young Singer category, and by vocalist Susana Gasper. Ticket proceeds go into a fund for the promotion of young operatic talents.

A posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award went to Gerard Mortier, who died last month at age 70. In a career spanning over 30 years, Mortier was opera director at the Teatro Real in Madrid, the Paris Opera and the Salzburg Festival.

Prizes were awarded in 21 categories altogether.

The International Opera Awards were founded by John Allison, publisher of the highly acclaimed English magazine "Opera," and by opera aficionado Harry Hyman, managing director of the Nexus Group, an international company. From its first year in 2013, the International Opera Awards have been widely considered the Oscars of the opera world.

rf / dpa / limelightmagazine