Many congratulations to Deborah Warner whose production of Billy Budd has won the 2018 International Opera Award for Best New Production!
Premiered at the Teatro Real Madrid on 31 January 2017, the debut run starred Brindley Sherratt, Toby Spence, Duncan Rock and David Soar, and won rave reviews across the board: Fernando Remiro of Bachtrack said “British director Deborah Warner has created what might be the Billy Budd of the next decade, an instant classic”.
This season, Deborah’s production travels to Rome for performances at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma in May, with Toby Spence reprising the role of Edward Fairfax Vere. Next season the production makes its debut at Covent Garden; original cast-members Toby Spence, Brindley Sherratt, David Soar and Duncan Rock will reprise the roles they created in Madrid, joined by Jette Parker Young Artist and AH Rising Star Dominic Sedgwick.
Following success at the BBC Music Magazine Awards last week, Joyce DiDonato’s recording of Berlioz’s Les Troyens with John Nelson, Michael Spyres and Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg has picked up the award for Recording (Complete Opera).
Brett Dean’s Hamlet, which premiered at Glyndebourne last summer with a cast including Dame Sarah Connolly and Rod Gilfry, won the World Premiere Award.
The ceremony featured performances from several artists, including some of the evening’s winners. Brindley Sherratt sung Claggart’s aria from Billy Budd, and Toby Spence appeared as a Special Guest for the surprise Grand Finale at the end of the ceremony, singing “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide. Toby was joined by a chorus made up of Opera Awards Foundation bursary recipients and assorted friends, plus an ‘all stars’ ensemble of the evening’s performers and presenters, including Stuart Skelton, Susan Bullock, Wallis Giunta, Brindley Sherratt, Richard Berkeley-Steele and Malin Byström. View photos from the evening below.
BBC Radio 3 will broadcast highlights from the ceremony in a special 90-minute programme on Sunday 15 April at 9.15pm.
Congratulations to all!
Main photo: Deborah Warner with Joan Matabosch, Artistic Director of Teatro Real © Jim Winslet