The prestigious International Opera Awards has announced the names of the finalists for the 2020 competition. The annual red-carpet event – which celebrates achievement in opera around the world in 2019 – recognises excellence in a wide range of categories that cover performance, design and direction, as well as education and outreach.

The shortlist was compiled by a 45-strong international jury drawn from a range of backgrounds including critics, opera directors, conductors and designers. It was chaired by John Allison, editor of Opera magazine (the founding media partner of the awards) and The Daily Telegraph’s classical music critic.

Allison commented: “The huge number of nominations we received for the International Opera Awards is an indication of the global interest in them. Spanning the world, the exciting list of finalists – chosen by our truly international jury – confirms the cosmopolitan nature of the artform and bears testimony to the incredibly vibrant work done by opera companies of all sizes everywhere.”

Among the 18 categories, 2019 was a particularly strong year for female composers in the World Premiere section. Raquel García-Tomás’s Je suis narcissiste (Teatro Real), Elena Kats-Chernin’s Whiteley (Opera Australia) and Ellen Reid’s Pulitzer prize-winning work p r i s m (Beth Morrison Projects) were been shortlisted.

In the highly prized singer categories, the list of impressive finalists for Female Singer include soprano Lise Davidsen, who was shortlisted in the Young Singer category in 2017, alongside Maria Agresta, Christine Goerke, Kate Lindsey, Lisette Oropesa and Elza van den Heever. The finalists in the Male Singer category are Carlos Álvarez, Javier Camarena, Stephen Gould, René Pape, George Petean and Russell Thomas.

The winners in all 18 categories will be announced at a special gala event at London’s Sadler’s Wells on 21 September 2020 (please note this has been rescheduled from 4 May due to coronavirus), together with special awards for Philanthropy, Leadership and Lifetime Achievement. The evening will feature performances by soprano Louise Alder and mezzo-soprano Marina Viotti, both past winners of the Mazars Young Singer of the Year award, and tenor Konu Kim, a finalist for this year’s award, as well as baritone Johan Reute. It will once again be hosted by broadcaster Petroc Trelawny, while BBC Radio 3 will broadcast highlights from the evening shortly after the event.

For further information, visit the International Opera Awards website.



Petroc Trelawny hosts the International Opera Awards 2019. (Chris Christodoulou).