2015 Opera News Awards
~Five Honorees to be Recognized for Contributions to the Opera World at the 10th Annual Awards Ceremony ~
New York, NY (December 9, 2014) – OPERA NEWS Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll today announced the recipients of the 10th Annual Opera News Awards. This year’s honorees—Piotr Beczala, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Sondra Radvanovsky, Samuel Ramey and Teresa Stratas—will be feted at a black tie gala celebration on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Previous Opera News Award Winners Martina Arroyo, Gerald Finley and Susan Graham are among the presenters.
“Since the Awards’ inception in 2005, our honorees have been chosen by the editors of OPERA NEWS for distinguished achievement in the field of opera,” said Diane Silberstein, publisher of OPERA NEWS. “This year, our 10th annual, we are thrilled to also announce the support of the Bank of New York Mellon Wealth Management and President’s Circle Sponsor, the Lloyd E. Rigler – Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation, who will join us in honoring these fabulous artists.”
The musical guest for the evening is Stephanie Blythe, who received her own Opera News Award in 2007–08. The acclaimed mezzo-soprano will make a special appearance at the 2015 awards gala, performing in tribute to the five honorees. Ms. Blythe returns to the Metropolitan Opera this season in May, as Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress, and will sing a much-anticipated solo recital in Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium on May 15.
2015 Opera News Award RecipientsPiotr Beczala
Associate Editor Henry Stewart: “Piotr Beczala’s superb technique, elegant musicianship and ebullient on-stage personality have made him a favorite at the Met since his 2006 debut as the Duke of Mantua in Rigoletto. Beczala has affirmed his star status with his brilliant work in new Met productions of Manon (2012), Rigoletto (2013) and Eugene Onegin (2013). He is one of the great artists of our time, a singer whose performances are eagerly anticipated by opera audiences all over the world.”
Senior Editor Louise T. Guinther: “Ferruccio Furlanetto has a voice of gravitas, wisdom and authority, paired with an emotional palette that encompasses steely power, raging passion and tender vulnerability. At the same time, this great bass has maintained the lightness of touch to leave his indelible imprint on such comic roles as Leporello, Basilio and Figaro, and the seductive charm to melt hearts as Don Giovanni and even Emile de Becque in South Pacific—a dizzying spectrum of talents that mark him as a renaissance artist of the highest order.”
Online Editor Adam Wasserman: “Sondra Radvanovsky's glorious voice is an instrument that makes no compromises. Her expansive soprano is tailor-made for Verdi's most dramatic heroines, and her musicality and finesse are utterly right in the bel canto roles in which she has triumphed. Natural and affecting onstage, Radvanovsky is a modern singing-actress of the highest order, an artist whose singular sound hearkens back to a golden age of opera.”
Features Editor Brian Kellow: “Samuel Ramey is a rara avis in the opera world: a bass with a bold, opulent sound whose voice can also move at quicksilver speed. That thrilling voice has magnificently served an astonishingly wide range of repertoire, from classic Verdi roles such as Attila and King Philip to the domineering father in Louise to Susannah's tormented Olin Blitch.”
Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll: “Teresa Stratas is a singing actress whose uncompromising performances established an indelible standard in all the roles that she inhabited—from Alban Berg’s Lulu and Kurt Weill’s Jenny to Mimi in La Bohème and Nedda in Pagliacci. But Teresa Stratas is more than an extraordinary artist: she is an extraordinary woman whose humanitarian work is an expression of her deep compassion and seemingly inexhaustible capacity for caring.”
The above recipients join an illustrious group: (2013-14): Patrice Chéreau, Juan Diego Flórez, Christa Ludwig, James Morris, Nina Stemme; (2012-13): Mirella Freni, Dawn Upshaw, David Daniels, Simon Keenlyside, Eric Owens; (2011-12): Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Peter Mattei, Karita Mattila, Anja Silja, Peter Sellars; (2010-11): Jonas Kaufmann, Riccardo Muti, Patricia Racette, Kiri Te Kanawa, Bryn Terfel; (2009-10): Martina Arroyo, Joyce DiDonato, Gerald Finley, Philip Glass, Shirley Verrett; (2008-9): John Adams, Natalie Dessay, Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes; (2007-8): Olga Borodina, Stephanie Blythe, Thomas Hampson, Leontyne Price, Julius Rudel; (2006-7): Ben Heppner, James Levine, René Pape, Renata Scotto, Deborah Voigt; (2005-6): James Conlon, Régine Crespin, Plácido Domingo, Susan Graham, Dolora Zajick.
Individual benefactor tickets to the Opera News Awards are available for $850; individual President’s Circle tickets at $1,200. In addition, Benefactor tables are available for $8,500; President’s Circle tables at $12,000. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the education programs of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, which has published OPERA NEWS since 1936. A portion of each ticket purchase is tax-deductible as allowed by law. For event information or to purchase tickets, please visit the OPERA NEWS website or call 212.769.7062.
About OPERA NEWS:
OPERA NEWS has been published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild since 1936; it has the largest circulation of any classical music magazine in the United States. Edited by F. Paul Driscoll, the monthly publication is a winner of four ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for excellence in music journalism. For more information and the latest opera news visit operanews.com, facebook.com/operanews, and twitter.com/operanews.