13 February 2013

Soprano Patricia Racette to Host Eighth Annual Opera News Awards on April 21, 2013

John Adams, Rudolph W. Giuliani, Julie Taymor, Harry Bicket and Isabel Leonard to Present Awards to Five Honorees

The celebrated American soprano Patricia Racette, one of the most acclaimed singing actresses on the opera stage today, will will serve as host of the eighth annual Opera News Awards on April 21, 2013. Racette, who received an Opera News Award herself in 2010, will be joined by a distinguished line-up of presenters, who will — along with a host of the city's cultural, civic and social luminaries — pay tribute to five superb artists who have made an invaluable contribution to the art form. The great American composer John Adams will present the award to soprano Dawn Upshaw; former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to soprano Mirella Freni; acclaimed director Julie Taymor to bass-baritone Eric Owens; British conductor, harpsichordist and organist Harry Bicket to countertenor David Daniels; and fast-rising mezzo soprano Isabel Leonard to baritone Simon Keenlyside. 

First introduced in 2005, the Opera News Awards gala dinner, which features the hosts and presenters speaking about the awardees and introducing video performance clips, has become one of the most anticipated opera events of the season: an evening of celebration, appreciation, reuniting and celebrity-spotting that is without parallel in the industry. 

"While packing for Washington D.C., I just came across a photo of the legendary French soprano Régine Crespin, Opera News's editor-in-chief, F. Paul Driscoll, and me at the very first Opera News Awards dinner. It brought back many wonderful memories, and also reminded me that I will soon have experienced all levels of participation at this wonderful event: guest, presenter, recipient, and now host! What a thrill to experience this great celebration of our fantastic art form from every angle! After all, it's the closest thing we have to a SAG Award, right?!"

The official announcement of this year's honorees appeared in the September 2012 issue of Opera News. The April 2013 issue of Opera News will contain tributes to the five awardees.

Created in 2005, the Opera News Awards recognize five individuals each year for distinguished achievement in the field of opera. Proceeds from the gala evening on April 21 will benefit the education programs of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. The corporate sponsor for the event is BNY Mellon Wealth Management. 

For the third consecutive season, the celebration of the Opera News Awards includes a special sweepstakes that will give a lucky winner round-trip air transportation for two to New York, provided by American Airlines, as well as a two-night stay at Trump International Hotel and Tower and VIP tickets to the Opera News Awards. This year's winner is S. Jennifer Choi of Baltimore, Maryland, who is a national member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. In total, there were 14,178 entrants into this year's Opera News Awards sweepstakes. American Airlines and Trump International Hotel and Tower are the presenting sponsors for the Opera News Awards sweepstakes. spacer

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