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The International Opera Awards Announces Finalists

With more than 20,000 nominations made, the International Opera Awards is pleased to announce the finalists for this year's Awards. These were selected by an international jury chaired by John Allison, editor of Opera magazine and classical music critic with The Daily Telegraph, 'Once again, it was both a challenge and a pleasure for us to produce these shortlists, and I am very grateful to our distinguished jury. The quality of the nominations-received in record numbers this year-was very high, and I hope our lists prove that for all the difficulties faced by the world's opera companies, opera is in fact in a healthy and vibrant state.'

The 2017 International Opera Awards, hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenter Petroc Trelawny, will take place on Sunday 7 May at 6.30pm at the London Coliseum. This is the first year that BBC Radio 3 is partnered with the International Opera Awards. As in previous years, the evening will feature live performances from internationally renowned singers. Past performances have been given by Lawrence Brownlee, Ermonela Jaho, Gregory Kunde and Aleksandra Kurzak. BBC Radio 3 will broadcast highlights from the awards ceremony in a special 90-minute programme on Sunday 21 May at 7.30pm.

The finalists below have been selected for their achievements over the 2016 calendar year. In addition to the 17 categories listed, the winners of the awards for Philanthropist, Lifetime Achievement, and Leadership (a new award sponsored by the Good Governance Institute) will be announced at a later date.

Founded by opera lover and philanthropist Harry Hyman, the International Opera Awards exists not only to celebrate established stars, but to support the next generation of talent. The Awards raises money for the Opera Awards Foundation, a charity which provides bursaries to aspiring operatic talent around the world.

Readers' Award voting page:

Tickets are priced at £30-£150 and are available here:




Arnold Schoenberg Chor

Lyric Opera of Chicago


Oper Stuttgart

Opera Australia

Opera North


Riccardo Chailly

Philippe Jordan

Lothar Koenigs

Susanna Mälkki

Ingo Metzmacher

Esa-Pekka Salonen


Cordelia Chisholm

Paolo Fantin

Alfons Flores

Klaus Grünberg

Johannes Leiacker

Christian Schmidt


Robert Carsen

Tatyana Gürbaca

Nigel Lowery

Christof Loy

Damiano Michieletto

Kirill Serebrennikov


Dutch National Opera


Komische Oper

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Natalya Sats Children's Opera Theatre

Umculo Cape Festival


Maria Bengtsson

Stéphanie d'Oustrac

Christiane Karg

Anna Netrebko

Anita Rachvelishvili

Daniela Sindram


Festival d'Aix-en-Provence

FestivAl Verdi (Parma)

Garsington Opera

Lyon Festival

Spoleto Festival USA

Wexford Festival Opera


Lawrence Brownlee

Stéphane Degout

Eric Owens

Matthew Polenzani

Johan Reuter

Martin Winkler


Glass: Akhnaten, d. Phelim McDermott (English National Opera)

Janá?ek: V?c Makropulos, d. Kornél Mundruczó (Opera Vlaanderen)

Shostakovich: Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, d. Harry Kupfer (Bayerische Staatsoper)

Shostakovich: The Nose, d. Barrie Kosky (Royal Opera House)

Saariaho: L'amour de loin, d. Robert Lepage (Metropolitan Opera)

Verdi: Giovanna d'Arco, d. Saskia Boddekke & Peter Greenaway (Teatro Regio di Parma)


Polly Graham (Director)

Oksana Lyniv (Conductor)

Simon Stone (Director)

Lorenzo Viotti (Conductor)

Matthew Waldren (Conductor)

Lloyd Wood (Director)


Houston Grand Opera

Oper Stuttgart

Opéra de Lyon

Opera Vlaanderen

Royal Opera House

Teatro alla Scala


Roberto Alagna

Cecilia Bartoli

Piotr Becza?a

Renée Fleming

Juan Diego Flórez

El?na Garan?a

Sondra Radvanovsky

Bryn Terfel


Die Walküre (Naxos)

Pique Dame (BR Klassik)

Zazà (Opera Rara)

Einstein on the Beach (Opus Arte)

La forza del destino (Sony)

Lulu (Nonesuch)


Lawrence Brownlee: Allegro io son (Delos)

Allan Clayton: Where'er You Walk (Signum Classics)

Marianne Crébassa: Oh, Boy! (Erato)

Sabine Devieilhe: The Weber Sisters (Erato)

Pumeza Matshikiza: Arias (Decca)

Pretty Yende: A Journey (Sony)


Casella: La donna serpente (Teatro Regio di Torino)

Cesti: Le nozze in sogno (Innsbrucken Festwochen der Alten Musik)

Donizetti: Olivo e Pasquale (Donizetti Opera Festival, Bergamo)

Giordano: La cena delle beffe (Teatro alla Scala)

Straus: Die Perlen der Cleopatra (Komische Oper)

?ele?ski: Goplana (Polish National Opera)


Thomas Adès: The Exterminating Angel (Salzburg Festival)

Elena Langer: Figaro Gets a Divorce (Welsh National Opera)

Missy Mazzoli: Breaking the Waves (Opera Philadelphia)

Anno Schreier: Hamlet (Theater an der Wien)

Bright Sheng: Dream of the Red Chamber (San Francisco Opera)

Miroslav Srnka: South Pole (Bayerische Staatsoper)


Louise Alder

J'Nai Bridges

Björn Bürger

Lise Davidsen

Jennifer France

Julie Fuchs

Sam Furness

Levy Segkapane

David Shipley

Long Zhang

2017 Jury

John Allison (chair)
Editor, Opera; critic, Daily Telegraph

David Agler
Artistic Director, Wexford Festival Opera

Aviel Cahn
Intendant, Opera Vlaanderen

Hugh Canning
Chief music critic, Sunday Times; member of Opera's editorial board

Rupert Christiansen
Opera critic, Daily Telegraph; member of Opera's editorial board

James Clutton
Director of Opera,Opera Holland Park

Serge Dorny
General Director, Opéra de Lyon

Neil Fisher
Deputy Arts Editor, The Times

Francisco José Folch
Critic, El Mercurio

Anthony Freud
General Director, President & CEO, Lyric Opera of Chicago

Deborah Jones
Sydney correspondent, Opera; national dance critic, The Australian

Joanna C. Lee
Contributor, Opera; columnist Opera (China)

Njabulo Madlala

Hein Mulders
Intendant, Philharmonie Essen, Aalto-Musiktheater & Essener Philharmoniker

Nicholas Payne
Director, Opera Europa

Gerhard Persché
Correspondent, Opera, Opernwelt & Fono Forum

Christina Scheppelmann
Artistic Director General, Gran Teatre del Liceu

Matthew Shilvock
General Director, San Francisco Opera

Ken Smith
Critic, The Financial Times; columnist, Opera (China); commentator, RTHK Radio 4

Victoria Stapells
Contributor, Opera & Opera Canada.

Birgitta Svenden
CEO & Artistic Director, Royal Swedish Opera

Notes to Editors


Mazars is an international, integrated and independent organisation, specialising in audit, accountancy, advisory, tax and legal services. As of January 1st, 2017, Mazars operates throughout the 79 countries that make up its integrated partnership. Mazars draws upon the expertise of 18,000 women and men led by 950 partners. We assist clients of all sizes, from SMEs to mid-caps and global players as well as start-ups and public organisations, at every stage of their development. In the UK, Mazars has approximately 140 partners and over 1,700 employees serving clients from 19 offices, and is ranked one of the top 10 firms nationally.

BBC Radio 3

Since it launched in 1946, the Third Programme/BBC Radio 3 has been a bold pioneer in the cultural world. It is one of the world's foremost presenters, creators, commissioners and curators across classical, opera, folk, world, jazz and contemporary music as well as drama, philosophy and ideas. The station is also the most significant commissioner of new and contemporary music in the UK, with 35 new works commissioned annually and broadcasts over 600 concerts a year, including live broadcasts from the greatest classical music festival in the world (BBC Proms) and a regular weekly commitment to international opera in Opera on 3. Radio 3's In Concert programme alone reaches the equivalent of 250 packed concert halls a week, and the BBC Orchestras and Choirs give around 400 concerts a year in over 60 UK locations. The station has always nurtured extraordinary artistic talents, provided a platform for important scientific and political debates/announcements, and broadcast ground-breaking experimental drama - always while delivering its core aim of connecting audiences with pioneering music and culture.

Opera Magazine

Described by the Daily Telegraph as 'the bible of the industry', Opera magazine has been the world's leading commentator on the Lyric Stage for over 65 years. Providing coverage of operatic events through a mixture of features, reviews (live performances, recordings, books) and analysis, plus monthly listings of events worldwide and its famous 'We hear that' section, the magazine has an unrivalled network of international correspondents, covering performances from around the globe.

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