Cher Public

Winged victors

Has it really been nine years? Well, apparently it has, because the winners of the ninth annual F. Paul Driscoll Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence (or, as they are colloquially known, the “Opera News Awards”) have been revealed. Congratulations to director Patrice Chéreau, tenor Juan Diego Flórez, mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig, bass-baritone James Morris and soprano Nina Stemme (not pictured)!  

The honorees will be honored on Sunday, April 13 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. All the winners–and (it goes without saying) a host, a veritable host of the city’s cultural, civic, and social luminaries–will be present at the gala awards dinner, which will feature celebrity presenters speaking about the awardees and introducing video performance clips. (Photo: Ken Howard)

  • Cocky Kurwenal

    Will Chereau be directing them in a gala performance of the last act of Rigoletto? I’m sure Christa still has it in her to seduce Florez.

    • danpatter

      But, somehow, I don’t think Stemme’s Gilda would be one I would want to hear, fine singer though she is.

      • operaassport

        Oh, no I’m sure Stemme would be the Rigoletto!

        A host, a veritable host! Made me laugh out loud.

        At least this year there’s no one whose international career has lasted all of 27 minutes.

      • armerjacquino

        I dunno. If it’s only the last act, she’d be worth hearing in the Storm Trio!

    • tannengrin

      comme ca?

  • damekenneth

    Given that these awards are associated with Opera News -- and that Opera News is associated with The Metropolitan Opera -- it is interesting that they are honoring Stemme, whom the Met has quite underused. Making a point?

    • operaassport

      Not to mention Chereau!

    • While the association between Opera News and the Met is undeniable, I don’t think these awards have ever set out to be Met-centric. I think the idea is to honour great singers in the world of opera — some mid-career and others retired.

  • Bill

    damekenneth -- obviously making a point -- I would normally think they would honor singers who have
    had a history of legendary performances at the Met,
    or someone who has been a mainstay of their
    repertory evenings over a long period. I recall
    only seeing Stemme one season as Senta and one as
    Ariadne with nothing coming up until maybe 2016 or
    2017 (Elektra ? Isolde ?) -- That she is the
    foremost Hochdramatische Sopran at the moment is
    quite clear -- very much in demand -- and it is not
    a feather in Gelb’s Cap that she has sung so little
    at the Met (for whatever the reason). So why not
    get her to the Met with some honor if they cannot
    get her to sing there. Maybe she will like the
    Met a little better for being honoured in this
    manner and will reconsider her future schedule --
    for the patrons of the Met, if one has to cajole a
    bit to sign a brilliant singer -- who is to complain.
    We had the same problem a generation ago with
    Christa Ludwig -- she sang a Cherubino early and was
    not a fixture at the Met until Boehm brought her back
    for the Dyer’s Wife in Frau and for Ortrud in 1965.
    Then we got Ludwig in for some other roles in subsequent seasons to the benefit of the Met public.
    But Vienna got her most of all where she has
    become one of their legendary Mezzos Anday, Hoengen, Ludwig, Baltsa and now Garanca. So why not use any
    kind of bait to lure Stemme to enhance her future association with the Met.

    • redbear

      We’ve have this discussion before. Stemme has been a goddess for years now. Koch too. Why did the Met wait until the last quarter of Dessay’s career? Meier? etc. etc.

  • messa di voce

    Dessay sang at the Met from 94 -13 . The 76 year career of this 48 year old singer is one of the most impressive in recent memory.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    One wonders why the director thought all of the furniture moving was a good idea

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Very interesting streaming technique, where the viewer can chose between for cameras.