4 August 2010

Sixth Annual OPERA NEWS Awards to Honor Jonas Kaufmann, Riccardo Muti, Patricia Racette, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa & Bryn Terfel

This Year, Sweepstakes Will Take a Lucky Winner and Guest to New York for the Gala Celebration at The Plaza

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The sixth annual OPERA NEWS Awards will be presented on Sunday, April 17 at The Plaza in New York, paying tribute to five extraordinary artists who have made an invaluable contribution to the art form: tenor Jonas Kaufmann,conductor Riccardo Muti, soprano Patricia Racette, soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and bass-baritone Bryn Terfel.

The official announcement of the 2010 honorees is in the September issue of OPERA NEWS, available today, August 4. The gala awards dinner at The Plaza will feature celebrity presenters speaking about the awardees; video and audio clips; and tributes from numerous colleagues. Tributes to the five awardees, all of them distinguished members of the international operatic community, will figure prominently in the April 2011 issue of OPERA NEWS.

Adding an extra dimension to an already festive occasion, this year's OPERA NEWS Awards introduce 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 the St. Regis Hotel and VIP tickets to the OPERA NEWS Awards. No purchase is necessary to enter the sweepstakes.

The OPERA NEWS Awards were created in 2005. They recognize five individuals each year for their distinguished achievement in the field of opera. Proceeds from the gala evening on April 17 will benefit the education programs of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. 

The editors of OPERA NEWS — published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, which is now celebrating its 75th anniversary — have offered brief pre-publication accolades to this year's award recipients.

Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll pays tribute to OPERA NEWS Award honoree Riccardo Muti: "Maestro Muti's superlative performances in the most important concert halls and opera houses of the world have established him as a towering figure in the history of classical music. He is a musician without peer, an artist who truly deserves to be called great."

Features Editor Brian Kellow praises Dame Kiri Te Kanawa: "Kiri Te Kanawa possesses the gift that is the foundation of all opera: a stunningly beautiful voice. Through a long and enviable career, she has been the epitome of high-style vocal glamour — most of all, in her unforgettable performances of Mozart and Strauss."

Managing Editor Oussama Zahr salutes American soprano Patricia Racette: "Patricia Racette has moved from strength to strength over the course of her career on the basis of a prodigious singing technique. Her successes in Verdi, Puccini, Janácek and contemporary opera have made her an integral component of the American opera landscape today."

Senior Editor Louise T. Guinther affirms the many qualities of German tenor Jonas Kaufmann: "Jonas Kaufmann has seduced opera audiences the world over with a uniquely plaintive timbre, a lieder-singer's interpretive subtlety and the depth and range of his dramatic portrayals. His intensity and intelligence, his suppleness of voice and body, combined with innate musicality and smoldering good looks, make him the model of the 21st-century opera star."

Online Editor Adam Wasserman extols the gifts of Welsh superstar Bryn Terfel: "Whether it be as Mozart's Figaro, Hans Sachs, Sweeney Todd or Falstaff, Bryn Terfel has become one of the great performers of our era by providing audiences with truth, charm and visceral thrills every time he steps on stage. His voice — expansive yet capable of matchless subtlety — affirms opera as a vital art in an era of theatrical trickery and vocal homogenization."

Commenting further about the winners of the sixth annual OPERA NEWS Awards, Driscoll states: 

"These five brilliant artists represent the gold standard in opera. OPERA NEWS celebrates their distinguished achievements with gratitude and pride."

BNY Mellon Wealth Management is the corporate sponsor for this year's OPERA NEWS Awards. Presenting sponsors for the OPERA NEWS Awards sweepstakes include American Airlines and the St. Regis Hotel in New York, with EMI as a contributing sponsor. 

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. The magazine, published monthly, is a winner of three ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for excellence in music journalism. spacer

Previous OPERA NEWS Awards honorees:

2005: James Conlon, Régine Crespin, Plácido Domingo, Susan Graham, Dolora Zajick 
2006: Ben Heppner, James Levine, René Pape, Renata Scotto, Deborah Voigt
2007: Olga Borodina, Stephanie Blythe, Thomas Hampson, Leontyne Price, Julius Rudel
2008: John Adams, Natalie Dessay, Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes  
2009: Martina Arroyo, Joyce DiDonato, Gerald Finley, Philip Glass, Shirley Verrett

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