Has it been a year already? Apparently so, because the honorees for the eighth annual F. Paul Driscoll Awards for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence, or as they are colloquially known, the Opera News Awards, have just this minute been announced. The five superb artists who have made an invaluable contribution to the art form this time around are sopranos Mirella Freni and Dawn Upshaw, countertenor David Daniels, baritone Simon Keenlyside, and bass-baritone Eric Owens. The eighth annual FPDAOAFE ceremony will take place on Sunday, April 21 at the Plaza in New York City.
Soprano Mirella Freni is under investigation by the Bologna District Attorney’s office of Bologna for money laundering and exportation of money abroad in connection with the BER bank. The artist from Modena, 76, will be heard by the magistrates in the next few days to clarify her position, now that the DA Antonella Scandellari has sent her a notice of the closing of the investigations. The singer has so far denied any wrongdoing. (Thanks to Our Own Ercole Farnese for the tip!) [Corriere della Sera]