Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Duncan Rock. Mariusz Kwiecien & Luca Pisaroni nominated for International Opera Awards

Duncan Rock & Dame Felicity Lott from the Musicians Benevolent Fund calendar
On April 22nd in London, the first International Opera Awards ceremony will be held at Hilton Park Lane. The global awards ceremony is kicking off with twenty-one categories, including Best New Production, Best Chorus, Best Conductor, Best CD, Best DVD, Best Rediscovered Work and even Best Philanthropist.

But we'll be watching three categories in particular, Best Male Singer, Best CD and Best Young Singer. Three of our favorite regulars on this site have been nominated, one in each category. Italian bass-barihunk Luca Pisaroni has been nominated for Best Male Singer and his category is open to a vote of the public. You can vote HERE (and don't you dare vote for anyone else!). Barihunk Calendar model and opera sex symbol Duncan Rock has been nominated for Best Young Singer. Mariusz Kwiecien has been nominated for Best CD for his Slavic Arias recording.

The awards are the work of British opera patron Harry Hyman and the the British magazine Opera.  The magazine asked its contributors and readers to submit nominees for the ten judges to choose from.
Luca Pisaroni & Mariusz Kwiecien
Although it's dubbed an international competition, it's clear that it is heavily skewed towards the U.K. and mainland Europe. In fact, David Gockley, the general director of the San Francisco Opera, is the only judge not based in Europe. None of the opera production, opera company, DVD production or chorus nominees are from the United States. Frankly, the Best Director category would make a lot of American opera attendees flinch with his slant towards Regietheater (or Opera Euro Trash, as its known as on the other side of the Pond).

We certainly want to encourage the success of the Awards, as the foundation running the program has noble goals.

Their primary objectives are to:
  • Recognize the artistic talents of individuals within opera who have a financial need
  • Provide opportunities to develop and display these talents
  • Provide bursaries and grants to the identified individuals
  • Support institutions that promote youth involvement in opera
  • Seek private funds to help meet the Foundations objectives
  • Continue to promote and educate the public in Opera
  • Through the Foundation's Awards Ceremony provide a showcase for recognition of talented individuals

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