Yesterday, the Royal Theater achieved an important boost for its work by being awarded as best opera theater at the International Opera Awards 2021, which recognize the work in the field of lyric developed during 2019 – last year’s gala was suspended for the pandemic. The Madrid coliseum, with Gregorio Marañón as president and Joan Matabosch as artistic director, prevailed over theaters such as the Finnish National Opera (Helsinki), La Monnaie / De Munt (Brussels), the Oper Frankfurt (Frankfurt), the Opéra Comique (Paris ) and the Royal Opera House (London). In the year awarded, the Madrid Coliseum presented new productions of ‘Idomeneo’, by Mozart (with Ivor Bolton in the musical and stage direction of Robert Carsen); Verdi’s ‘Falstaff’ (with Daniele Rustioni and Laurent Pelly); Richard Strauss’s ‘Capriccio’ (with Asher Fish and Christof Loy); and ‘Il Pirata’, by Bellini (with Maurizio Benini and Emilio Sagi).
The Royal Theater had three other nominations: for best orchestra, which was finally won by the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich; the opera ‘Je suis narcisiste’, by Raquel García-Tomás, was up for the award for the best absolute premiere, which was finally won by ‘Oceana’, by Detlev Glanert, presented at the Deutsche Oper in Berlin. The award for best operatic recording, for which Kurt Weill’s opera ‘Street Scene’ was nominated, went to Thomas’s ‘Hamlet’ for Naxos.
In addition to the Teatro Real, there was a Spanish flavor in another of the awards. The San Sebastian tenor Xabier Anduaga shared the award for the best young singer with the Russian mezzo-soprano Vasilisa Berzhanskaya. Anduaga, only 26 years old, is currently rehearsing Gaetano Donizetti’s opera ‘Viva la mamma’ at the Teatro Real. However, the other Spanish nominee did not obtain a reward: Carlos Álvarez, who saw the award for best male singer go to the Mexican tenor Javier Camarena.
The rest of the awards went to the Birmingham Opera Company (Education and Research), Małgorzata Szczesniak (Stage Design), the Salzburg Festival (Festival), Metropolitan Opera House in New York (Choir), David Pountney (Leadership), Kirill Petrenko ( Conductor), Lise Davidsen (Female Singer), ‘The Tale of Tsar Saltan’, directed by Dmitri Tcherniakov for La Monnaie / De Munt (Production); the Martina Arroyo Foundation (Philanthropic Work), Jamie Barton (Opera Magazine Readers); ‘Paria’, by Moniuszko, by the Polish Poznan Opera House (Opera rediscovered), Denyce Graves (Opera for peace), conductor Alpesh Chauhan (Debutante): ‘Facce d’amore’, by Jakub Józef Orlinski (Recording recital), Robert Carsen (stage director) and Bernard Haitink (Achievement of a life).
This year’s gala was broadcast via streaming, and was a vindication of the role of opera as a creator of illusions and emotions especially in these difficult times, as well as a tribute to the resistance of the world of lyric; It was presented by Petroc Trelawny, BBC announcer, and offered different performances from different stages, including those of some winners, such as Xabier Anduaga himself; Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, American mezzo Jamie Barton; the Mexican tenor Javier Camarena or the countertenor Józef Orlinski. Alexandra Lowe, Stuart Skelton, Vasilisa Berzhanskaya or Ermonela Jaho could also be seen and heard.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism