From Development server
10 December 2015

Joseph Calleja, Elīna Garanča, Waltraud Meier, Anna Netrebko & José van Dam Named as 2016 OPERA NEWS Awards Recipients

Five Honorees to be Acknowledged for Contributions to the Opera World at the 11th Annual Awards Ceremony

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OPERA NEWS  Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll today announced the recipients of the 11th Annual OPERA NEWS Awards. This year’s honorees — Joseph Calleja, Elīna Garanča, Waltraud Meier, Anna Netrebko, and José van Dam — will be feted at a black tie gala celebration on April 10th at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. 

“This year’s honorees are numbered among the very greatest artists in the history of the art form,” said F. Paul Driscoll, Editor in Chief of OPERA NEWS. “We are proud to salute them and are very grateful for the superb performances they have given on the world’s great opera stages.”

2016 Opera News Award Recipients 

Joseph Calleja: one of the finest lyric tenors in the world, made his professional debut at nineteen in his native Malta as Macduff in Macbeth. 

Senior Editor Louise T. Guinther: “Joseph Calleja has a golden-age voice, its very timbre imbued with intense emotion and irresistible passion, and he wields it with technical mastery so secure that he can project an air of complete spontaneity and abandon -- the essence of the singing actor's art. Calleja paints fully dimensional characters through sound alone.” 

Elīna Garanča: the beautiful Latvian mezzo arrived at the Met in 2008, and has returned to the company starring in numerous roles over the years.

Digital Editor Adam Wasserman: “Elīna Garanča is an artist whose unfailing technique and glamour make her one of the most exciting performers on the opera stage today. Garanča has already left her indelible mark on roles such as Octavian, Charlotte, Sesto and Carmen with an instrument of uncommon beauty and a stage deportment that is as adaptable as it is compelling.” 

Waltraud Meier: the magnificent German mezzo, who made her Met debut in 1987, returns to the company this season in a new production of Elektra.

Associate Editor Henry Stewart: “Waltraud Meier is opera’s greatest Method actress, revealing previously undiscovered subtexts in libretto and score. Her versatile, polychromatic, warm-blanket soprano is sufficiently award-worthy, but it’s her precisely developed assumptions of well-worn repertory roles that power that glorious sound.” 

Anna Netrebko: made her spectacular Met debut in 2002, as Natasha in the company’s premiere of Prokofiev’s War and Peace. Netrebko is now one of the Met’s most important singers.

Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll: “Anna Netrebko has thrilled audiences all over the world with her beauty, dramatic acumen and magnificent voice.  Her generosity as a performer is unequalled: Netrebko sings all of her music with a heart-stopping combination of commitment and abandon, bringing new audiences to opera everywhere with her passion and charisma.” 

José van Dam: world-renowned in concert, opera and recital; he is one of today’s most honored interpreters of the bass-baritone repertoire.

Features Editor Brian Kellow: “Few artists have ever brought French music to life quite with the suppleness, subtlety and depth of meaning that José van Dam has at his command. As Debussy’s Golaud, as Offenbach’s Dappertutto, in the melodies of Duparc and Fauré, he both illuminates and inhabits the music.” 

“Each year brings a new excitement as the editorial team at OPERA NEWS decides which opera stars will be recognized for their eminent achievements in the field of opera,” said Diane Silberstein, Publisher of OPERA NEWS. “As we approach our 11th annual ceremony, we are thrilled to pay tribute to these remarkable artists with the support from the Lloyd E. Rigler-- Lawrence E. Deutsch Foundation.”

The above recipients join an illustrious group: (2014-15): Piotr Beczala, Ferruccio Furlanetto,  Sondra Radvanovsky, Samuel Ramey, Teresa Stratas; (2013-14): Patrice Chéreau, Juan Diego Flórez, Christa Ludwig, James Morris, Nina Stemme; (2012-13): Mirella Freni, Dawn Upshaw, David Daniels, Simon Keenlyside, Eric Owens; (2011-12): Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Peter Mattei, Karita Mattila, Anja Silja, Peter Sellars; (2010-11): Jonas Kaufmann, Riccardo Muti, Patricia Racette, Kiri Te Kanawa, Bryn Terfel; (2009-10): Martina Arroyo, Joyce DiDonato, Gerald Finley, Philip Glass, Shirley Verrett; (2008-9): John Adams, Natalie Dessay, Renée Fleming, Marilyn Horne, Sherrill Milnes; (2007-8): Olga Borodina, Stephanie Blythe, Thomas Hampson, Leontyne Price, Julius Rudel; (2006-7): Ben Heppner, James Levine, René Pape, Renata Scotto, Deborah Voigt; (2005-6): James Conlon, Régine Crespin, Plácido Domingo, Susan Graham, Dolora Zajick.  

Individual benefactor tickets to the OPERA NEWS Awards are available for $850; individual President’s Circle tickets at $1,200. In addition, Benefactor tables are available for $8,500; President’s Circle tables at $12,000. Proceeds from the gala and its live and silent auctions will benefit the education programs of The Metropolitan Opera Guildwhich has published OPERA NEWS since 1936. A portion of each ticket purchase is tax-deductible as allowed by law. For event information or to purchase tickets, please visitThe Metropolitan Opera Guild website or call 212-769-7009.


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. Edited by F. Paul Driscoll, the monthly publication is a winner of four ASCAP-Deems Taylor Awards for excellence in music journalism. For more information and the latest opera news visit, and

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