Content by Victoria Bevan at Premier

Winners to be revealed at glamorous Gala Event at London’s Sadler’s Wells on Monday 29 April, with highlights broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Live performances from stars of the opera world Voting for Readers’ Award now open

The International Opera Awards announces the finalists for its 2019 Awards [Tuesday 29 January 2019]. The annual red-carpet event – which celebrates achievement in opera around the globe over the 2018 calendar year – recognizes excellence in a wide range of categories that cover performance, design and direction as well as education and outreach.

London’s Royal Opera House leads the 2019 shortlist, with recognition in four separate categories (Chorus, New Production, Opera Orchestra, andWorld Premiere), with Opéra de Lyon close behind with three (Chorus, Education and Outreach and World Premiere). Soprano Pretty Yende, winner of last year’s Readers’ Award, is this year nominated for Female Singer alongside Anna Caterina Antonacci, Daniela Barcellona, Sabine Devieilhe, Rosa Feola and Asmik Grigorian. Star tenor Stuart Skelton, winner of the Male Singer Award in 2014, receives a nomination for Recording (Solo Recital) for his debut solo recording Shining Knight, facing competition from Javier Camarena, Max Emanuel Cencic, Stéphane Degout, Elsa Dreisig and Anita Rachvelishvili.

Opera lovers from around the world are invited to vote in the Readers’ Award, with the nominees including the stellar talents of Ildar Abdrazakov, Michael Fabiano, Vittorio Grigolo, Thomas Hampson, Barbara Hannigan, Dame Sarah Connolly, Ana Maria Martinez and Sonya Yoncheva. Voting opens today on the International Opera Awards’ website and runs until Friday 8 March.

The shortlist was compiled by an impressive international jury chaired by John Allison, editor of Opera magazine (the Founding Media Partner of the Awards) and classical music critic of The Daily Telegraph. The winners of all categories, except the Readers’ Award, will also be decided by the jury.

The winners in all 18 categories are announced at a glittering Gala Event at London’s Sadler’s Wells on 29 April 2019, together with special awards for Philanthropy, Leadership and Lifetime Achievement.

Live performances from stars of the opera world, with full orchestra, are now a defining feature of the evening and have, in recent years, included memorable moments with such renowned singers as Anna Bonitatibus, Stuart Skelton, Lawrence Brownlee and Ermonela Jaho. Performers for 2019 will be announced in due course. Petroc Trelawny hosts the event for the fourth year, while BBC Radio 3 will again broadcast highlights from the evening shortly after the event.

John Allison, chair of the Jury, said: “It’s gratifying that we received a record-breaking number of nominations for this year’s International Opera Awards, and I feel that this excitement is reflected in the shortlists we’re announcing today. Spanning six continents, these shortlists — chosen by our international jury — reflect the truly cosmopolitan nature of the art form and the vibrancy of work being done despite challenges faced by opera companies large and small everywhere.”

The Awards, founded by philanthropist Harry Hyman in 2012, aim to raise the profile of opera as an art form, to recognise and reward success in opera and to generate funds to provide bursaries for aspiring operatic talent from around the world. Since 2012 over £330,000 has been raised by the Opera Awards Foundation.

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