This year’s International Opera Awards will be hosted by Teatro Real in Madrid, it has been announced. This marks the first time the event has been held outside the UK in its 10-year history.

Teatro Real was named Opera Company of the Year in the 2021 awards, which were held online. In recognition of this accolade, the company offered to host this year’s in-person ceremony in its historic theatre in Madrid.

The 2022 International Opera Awards will be held on 28 November; this is the first live awards since the lockdowns imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will include performances from leading stars of the opera stage with the orchestra of the Teatro Real under conductor Maurizio Benini.

Details of the shortlisted nominees were revealed earlier this month. They hail from more than 30 countries, reflecting the true international and collaborative nature of opera and the International Opera Awards.

Artists, productions and companies from across Europe and North America are joined by those from Ukraine, South Africa, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Samoa, Chile, Mexico, Australia, Turkey, Lithuania and Russia.

Harry Hyman, founder of the International Opera Awards, commented: “The International Opera Awards have always been international, with winners from around the world, as opera is one of the most international of all artforms. All opera productions involve talent from around the world coming together to create the magic that only opera provides.

“We are grateful to our colleagues at the Teatro Real for offering to host this year’s awards and look forward to showcasing and celebrating the very best operatic talent.”

The shortlist was compiled by an international jury of opera critics, administrators and performers from 20 different countries and chaired by John Allison, editor of Opera magazine (the founding media partner of the awards) and classical music critic for The Daily Telegraph. The winners of all categories, except the Opera magazine Readers’ Award, will also be decided by the jury.

Chair of the jury John Allison said: “It’s wonderful to see the International Opera Awards return to the theatre, after last year’s virtual gala, and these shortlists confirm that opera itself has returned to vibrant form. Reflecting the truly cosmopolitan nature of our operatic world, the shortlists are themselves the outcome of a lively nominations process, and we promise to deliver exciting winners in Madrid.”

The nominations include several UK-based organisations and individuals. These include Garsington Opera in the Festival category, Annilese Miskimmon’s production of Ruders’s The Handmaid’s Tale (2000) for English National Opera for New Production and Glyndebourne’s production of Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers (1906) for Rediscovered Work. The full list of nominees is available from the International Opera Awards.

Voting is now open for the Opera magazine Readers’ Award. This highly sought-after award has previously gone to German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, Bulgarian soprano Sonja Yoncheva, South African soprano Pretty Yende, Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez and American mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton.

Nominees for this year’s vote are Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian, Spanish soprano Saioa Hernandez, Kaufmann again, American soprano Lisette Oropesa, Samoan tenor Pene Pati, South African soprano Golda Schultz, Austrian tenor Andreas Schager and American tenor Michael Spyres.

BBC Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawny will again host the awards which will feature exclusive performances from the winners alongside other famous names; more details will be announced in the coming weeks. Tickets are on sale now from Teatro Real.

The event will raise funds for the Opera Awards Foundation, to provide bursaries for aspiring operatic talent from around the world. Since the awards were established in 2012, more than £400,000 has been raised, going to more than 125 bursary recipients.



The 2022 International Opera Awards will be held in Teatro Real’s stunning theatre in Madrid, the first time the ceremony has been held outside the UK.