New opera Denis & Katya, a co-production with Opera Philadelphia and Opéra Orchestre National Montpellier, has won the prestigious Fedora Prize for Opera, Cardiff-based company Music Theatre Wales has announced.

The new work was written by British composer Philip Venables and American librettest and stage director Ted Huffman. It examines the public response to the events surrounding the deaths of Russian runaways Denis Muravyov and Katya Vlasova, teenage lovers who died after a three-day stand-off with Russian Special Forces on 14 November 2016.

The production combines verbatim text, video, music and theatre in an exploration of how stories are shaped and shared in our age of social media trolls, conspiracy theories, fake news and 24/7 digital connection. It will receive its world premiere with Opera Philadelphia in September this year as part of the company’s OP19 Festival. Following this, it will be performed in the UK across Wales and England by Music Theatre Wales in February and March 2020 before moving onto Montpellier.

The Fedora Prize is awarded to new opera creations of excellence. The winning opera receives €150,000. Denis & Katya’s win was announced in June at the Fedora Prize Award Night at Teatro La Fenice in Venice.



Denis & Katya by Philip Venables and Ted Huffman takes this year’s Fedora Prize for Opera (Dominic M Mercier for Opera Philadelphia).