Opera + Classical Music Features

Olivier Award Opera Nominations 2009

The 2009 Olivier Award nominations have been announced and, while it is West End theatre that is mostly honoured in the annual event, there are two major opera categories.

Nominees include Patricia Bardon, Christine Rice, the RO’s Don Carlo and The Minotaur and ENO’s Partenope and I Pagliacci.

It’s been a pretty good 12 months for opera in the capital, so you’d expect a hotly-fought contest. The two categories are Best New Opera Production and Outstanding Achievement in Opera, each with four nominees.

The four best production contenders are split equally between the two top companies: The Royal Opera’s Don Carlo (Nicholas Hytner) and The Minotaur (Stephen Lagridge’s realisation of Harrison Birtwistle’s new work) and for English National Opera it’s Richard Jones’ I Pagliacci (but not the accompanying Cavelleria Rusticana) and Christopher Alden’s production of Handel’s Partenope.

Irish mezzo Patricia Bardon had a particularly fruitful year and was recognised for the achievement award for her work in The Rake’s Progress (ROH), Riders from the Sea and Partenope (both ENO). Musical director Edward Gardner has been nominated for a slew of work at ENO, including the Young Vic Punch and Judy.

Christine Rice, now one of our most exciting home-grown stars, is nominated for her vastly contrasting performances in The Minotaur and Partenope. Finally, Italian bass Ferruccio Furlanetto has a nod for his King Philip in the RO’s Don Carlo.

Reviews of all the productions mentioned can be found in our opera archive

Recent interviews with Christine Rice, Edward Gardner and David Harsent (librettist of The Minotaur) can be found in our features archive

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