OPERA NEWS - Viewpoint: Season of Celebration
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Viewpoint: Season of Celebration

By F. Paul Driscoll

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Kiri Te Kanawa and Frederica von Stade at the OPERA NEWS Awards, 2017
© Dario Acosta

TIME FLIES, as you may have heard. It is hard for me to believe that on April 22, 2018, we will present the thirteenth annual OPERA NEWS Awards. Each year, this event “gathers opera’s past, present and future”—an astute observation made by Susan Graham, one of our inaugural honorees, on the night of the first awards gala. The evening of the OPERA NEWS Awards is always memorable. It has given me particular pleasure to watch legendary artists such as Leontyne Price, Sherrill Milnes, Renata Scotto and Plácido Domingo mingle with members of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, or to be awed by the astonishing eloquence of the acceptance speeches by Peter Sellars and Teresa Stratas. The party has its lighter moments as well, as witness the photo below, which captures a bit of spontaneous post-presentation clowning last year by presenter Kiri Te Kanawa and honoree Frederica von Stade. 

Once again, this season’s gala celebration in the ballroom of the Plaza Hotel will honor the achievements of five extraordinary artists. William Christie, founder of Les Arts Florissants, changed the world’s perception of French Baroque music with his coruscating performances of Lully, Rameau and Charpentier. Fiorenza Cossotto, a nonpareil interpreter of Amneris, Santuzza, Azucena, Eboli and Donizetti’s Léonor de Guzman, will have another reason to celebrate on the night of the OPERA NEWS Awards: April 22 will be Cossotto’s eighty-third birthday. Vittorio Grigolo, who has electrified Met audiences since 2010, makes his role debut as Cavaradossi this month in the Met’s new staging of Tosca. Hei-Kyung Hong, an artist of surpassing grace and refinement, has enchanted Met audiences in 370 performances since her company debut in 1984. The beautiful Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva, already applauded at the Met as Mimì, Violetta, Gilda and Desdemona, sings her first performances of Tosca and Luisa Miller in New York this season.

The OPERA NEWS Awardees are chosen by the editors of the magazine. There are no “winners,” because there are no nominees, and there is no contest; it is our choice—and our privilege—to honor everyone equally. Each artist we have honored is indeed among the best of the best. spacer 

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Editor in Chief 

The opinions expressed in OPERA NEWS do not necessarily represent the views of The Metropolitan Opera Guild or The Metropolitan Opera.

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