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Winners of Les Azuriales Young Artists' Competition announced

23 August 2011, Cannes, France

Winner Ben McAteer with sponsor Linda Fenwick (CEO, Ozone HR)
Winner Ben McAteer with sponsor Linda Fenwick (CEO, Ozone HR)(Photo: Mark Holford)

Prizewinners Jonathan McGovern, Ben McAteer and Robyn Allegra Parton
Prizewinners Jonathan McGovern, Ben McAteer and Robyn Allegra Parton(Photo: Mark Holford)

The 2011 Les Azuriales Ozone Young Artists’ Competition has been won by baritone Ben McAteer.

He was one of nine young singers who took part in last Sunday’s final, held at the magnificent Bel Époque Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild in St Jean Cap Ferrat.

McAteer received a cash prize of €2,500, sponsored by Ozone HR, and a glass sculpture created by two of the UK’s leading glass makers, Sally Fawkes and Richard Jackson.

Awards also went to baritone Jonathan McGovern (best runner-up) and soprano Robyn Allegra Parton (most promising singer under the age of 26).

Jurors for the Competition included Opera Now Editor, Ashutosh Khandekar, who said: “Ben was a clear winner. He has a beautiful tone, mature beyond his 24 years, and he sang Schumann's Belsazar with a keen sense of drama and colour, animating the theatrical twists and turns of the story.”

 “The standard of the competition was very high all round, and the jury had to deliberate long and hard about the placing of the other participants. Jonathan McGovern, winner of the Karaviotis Prize, gave a very polished, confident performance which displayed his ability to charm his audience. Robyn Parton, aged just 24, showed plenty of thoughtful and delicate poise in her aria from Strauss's Rosenkavalier.”

Prior to Sunday’s final, the singers had been in the South of France for a week, taking part in private masterclasses given by mezzo-soprano, Sally Burgess. The course focused on acting and musical interpretation, culminating in a public masterclass in Beaulieu-sur-Mer and two scenes performed during the judges’ deliberations at the end of the Competition.

A number of Les Azuriales prizewinners and finalists have gone on to participate in the Royal Opera House's Jette Parker Young Artist Programme, evidence of the Competition's growing standing in the opera world.

All winners and some of the finalists will appear in a concert in London at the beginning of 2012.

 

Zambello brings new energy to the Glimmerglass Festival

11 August 2011, Cooperstown, US

Alexandra Deshorties as Medea at Glimmerglass Festival 2011
Alexandra Deshorties as Medea at Glimmerglass Festival 2011(Photo: Julieta Cervantes)

Review by Heidi Waleson

Glimmerglass Opera artistic and general director, Francesca Zambello, has brought new energy to the annual festival in Cooperstown, New York.

The big artistic success of her first season, however, was not the uninspired Annie Get Your Gun with a miscast Deborah Voigt, but rather the incandescent performance of Alexandra Deshorties, who tore up the stage in the title role of Cherubini’s Medea

With her powerful, laser-like soprano and dramatic intensity, Deshorties seemed to be channelling Maria Callas, once a renowned interpreter of the role. Aided by the conductor, Daniele Rustioni, she made you forget the minimal directing by Michael Barker-Caven, the ugly, inscrutable set by Joe Vanek, and the rest of the mostly forgettable cast. 

Also exciting: the sultry-voiced mezzo Ginger Costa-Jackson in the title role of Anne Bogart’s riveting, stripped-down Carmen. And the elegantly produced double bill of John Musto’s Edward Hopper-inspired Later the Same Evening with the premiere of the Glimmerglass-commissioned A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck by Jeanine Tesori and Tony Kushner, which bodes well for the new regime’s commitment to contemporary operas.

Glimmerglass Festival 2011 runs until 23 August.

 

Opera Now is going monthly!

26 July 2011, London, UK

Thanks to the amazing reader response we’ve received recently, Rhinegold is going to publish Opera Now 12 times per year. So, from October 2011, you’ll receive your magazine on a monthly basis – bringing more of the music you love to your door.

The all-new monthly Opera Now will contain more great interviews with major opera stars, more news, reviews, previews and exclusive Opera Now offers than ever before.

What this will mean for my subscription?
There won’t be a break in your subscription. You’ll receive the remaining copies from your current subscription. When we renew you, your subscription will then last for 12 issues. If you pay by credit card or cheque, when you renew, move to Direct Debit and save up to £20 off the cover price!

What will this mean for my Direct Debit?
We have already written to you explain how your Direct Debit will change. If you haven’t received your letter, please call us on 01371 851892 and quote your subscriber number. We can then answer any queries you may have.

Will I receive my magazine on a different date of the month?
We aim to get your magazine to you in the last week of every other month. From now on, we will aim to get your magazine to you in the last week of every month. You will still continue to receive your magazine before it’s available in the shops.

I’ve paid for a one-year subscription, why am I only receiving 6 months of issues?
This is because the magazine is moving to a monthly publication. So, previously 6 issues equalled a year’s subscription. Now, a year’s subscription covers is made up of 12 issues.

We hope you continue to enjoy the world’s best-loved opera magazine,

Ashutosh Khandekar
Editor-in-Chief

  • Click here to subscribe to Opera Now

 

London festival celebrates cutting-edge opera

26 July 2011, London, UK

The innovative opera company Tête à Tête is launching its 5th Annual Festival of "creation, invention, innovation, exploration and experimentation" in opera, running from 4 to 21 August in London.

The festival, based at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith, West London, has become known for its gritty, hardcore, artists-at-work atmosphere, involving hundreds of performers, directors, composers, librettists, designers, lighting designers, singers and instrumentalists.

This year, 30 or so guests include contributions from Britian’s leading companies: Scottish Opera workshops its new piece for toddlers SensoryO; Glyndebourne Youth Opera explores the phenomenon of wind in two world premières by Orlando Gough and Hannah Conway; Welsh National Youth Opera chills the spine with The Sleeper by Michael Symmons Roberts and Stephen Deazley; and Opera North investigates new life with Toby Litt and Emily Hall’s Life Cycle.

Tête à Tête will also present works in development by Robert Fokkens, Michael Zev Gordon and Stephen McNeff, alongside a whole set of Lite Bites, snapshots of short operas and works in progress, performed throughout the Festival.

 

Operalia 2011 winners announced

26 July 2011, Moscow, Russia

René Barbera
René Barbera(Photo: José Placido Domingo)

Pretty Yende
Pretty Yende(Photo: José Placido Domingo)

This year’s Operalia competition, one of the most influential of its kind, founded by Plácido Domingo, took place at the Stanislavsky Theatre in Moscow.

Two overall winners emerged at the finals on 24 July: South African-born soprano Pretty Yende and US tenor René Barbera each received US$30,000 First Prize money.

Both winners also walked away with two other prizes apiece, including sharing the Audience Prize, the first time this has happened in the competition’s history

Second Prize was awarded to Olga Busuioc and Kanstantin Shushakov, while Thrid Prize went to Olga Pudova and Jaesig Lee.

 


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