Rhinegold Photo credit: Richard Hubert Smith
ENO's Akhnaten

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Wigglesworth and ENO win at Olivier Awards 2017

5:00, 10th April 2017

English National Opera’s Akhnaten and Mark Wigglesworth picked up prizes at this year’s Olivier Awards ceremony, which took place at the Royal Albert Hall on 9 April.

Phelim McDermott’s production of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten for ENO beat Lulu (ENO), 4.48 Psychosis (Royal Opera House) and Così Fan Tutte (ROH) to win the category for best new opera production.

Andrew Clements (Guardian) praised McDermott’s ‘sumptuous’ work, highlighting the effectiveness of the director’s use of perpetual movement, and Rupert Christiansen (Telegraph) wrote that director and designers had done a ‘magnificent job’.

Mark Wigglesworth won the prize for outstanding achievement in opera in recognition of his conducting of English National Opera’s productions of Don Giovanni and Lulu. Also nominated were Renée Fleming for her performance in Der Rosenkavalier (Royal Opera House) and Stuart Skelton for his performance in Tristan and Isolde (ENO).

Tim Ashley (Guardian) wrote that Wigglesworth conducted Don Giovanni with ‘elegance, drama and warmth’, while Mark Valencia (What’s on Stage) applauded the ‘homogeneity and verve’ of his interpretation.

Wigglesworth’s performances of Lulu attracted similar praise, with Barry Millington (Evening Standard) praising ‘a cogent and wonderfully lyrical performance’ and Rupert Christiansen (Telegraph) noting that the conductor drew ‘playing of echt Viennese creaminess from his orchestra, making it sound as good as any in London’.

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