Alzira, of Gran Teatro Nacional of Peru wins award for best latin american production of Ópera XXI Association

The unprecedented prize is awarded for the first time in the history of spanish association. Among the rest of the winners are Sondra Radvanovsky, Leonor Bonilla, Nicola Luisotti, Cristof Loy, for the scenic direction of Capriccio; La casa de Bernarda Alba and depera de Butxaca form the poster awarded by the national lyrical activity during the 2018-2019 season


The jury of Ópera XXI Awards, convened by the Association of Theatres, Festivals and Stable Opera Seasons in Spain, today announced the names of the artists and institutions that will be recognized in the second edition of the awards, at the ceremony that will take place at Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona on March 12, 2020.


The Best New Latin American Production award went to Gran Teatro Nacional of Peru for Alzira, by Verdi, a co-production of the Ministry of Culture of Peru with ABAO (Association Bilbaína de Amigos de la Opera) and the Royal Opera of Wallonie (Liege, Belgium). The Verdian title, with a libretto by Salvatore Cammarano and inspired by the novel Alzira and the Americans by Voltaire, premiered in Lima in November 2018, under the scenic direction of the Peruvian Jean Pierre Gamarra and the musical direction of the Asturian Oliver Díaz. The main roles were interpreted by the Argentine soprano Jaquelina Livieri (Alzira), the tenor Juan Antonio de Dompablo (Zamoro) and the Lima baritone Jorge Tello (Gusmano). This is the first co-production of Gran Teatro Nacional of Peru with European institutions.

Award for Best Singer is for Sondra Radvanovsky,for her lead performance in Miller Luisa de Verdi, at the Gran Teatre de Liceu in July 2019 as well as the concert-tribute to Montserrat Caballe at the Castell de Peralada Festival.With almost three decades of professional experience behind him, Sondra Radvanovsky (Chicago, 1969), is one of the great international sopranos of today. Trained in opera in New York, the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program, soon opened the doors of the world’s leading opera houses, such as the Royal Opera House in London, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Opernhaus in Zurich and Metropolitan Opera in New York, among others. Especially admired playing roles for soprano Verdiana, she is also recognized for her interpretation of Italian bel canto titles.


Leonor Bonilla has been awarded the Best Young Singer award for her outstanding performances in an intense 2018/2019 season for the Sevillian soprano: Lucia di Lammermoor in Maestranza, Il viaggio a Reims in Tenerife, Orpheus and Eurydice in Villamarta and Capriccio at Teatro Real they have won this award. The first leading role of her career came with an outstanding Lucia di Lammermoor, Donizetti, in the title opened the season of the Teatro de la Maestranza, with Renato Balsadonna in the musical direction and Filippo Sanjust in the scenic. In December 2018, she played in Ópera de Tenerife Season the role of Contessa di Folleville from Il viaggio a Reims, Rossini, under the direction of the directors Yi-Chen Lin, in the musical section, and Stefania Bonfadelli on the scene. In January 2019, she was an outstanding Euridice in the work of Gluck addressed by Villamarta de Jerez, with a scene signed by Rafael Rodríguez Villalobos and Carlos Aragón in the musical section. And during the months of May and June 2019 she participated in Capriccio (R. Strauss) in her debut at Teatro Real playing the role of Italian singer.


Leonor Bonilla began training as a dancer and an injury changed her professional course towards singing. Her first important role came in 2014 at the Calderón Theater in Valladolid, in the role of Servilia de La clemenza di Tito. In his short career as a singer she already has a large number of awards and international awards.


The Best Musical Director Award goes to Nicola Luisotti (Viareggio, Italy, 1961), for the direction of Turandot at Teatro Real in November and December 2018 with great success from critics and audiences. He has been the musical director of San Francisco Opera since 2009 and held the musical direction of San Carlo theater in Naples between 2012 and 2014. He has been a regular director on the podiums of the best theaters in the world since his debut in 2005. Upcoming commitments await him, among others, at National Opera in Paris, La forza del destino, at Teatro Real, Don Carlo and La traviata, or at Teatro alla Scala in Milan, Il Trovatore


The Best Stage Director Award goes to Cristof Loy (Essen, 1962), for his direction of Capriccio at Teatro Real de Madrid in May and June 2019. Loy is one of the most demanded and awarded directors of his generation. He has worked in the main European operatic coliseums, including Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, Opernhaus in Zurich, Salzburg Festival, Stockholm Royal Opera, Royal Opera House in London. Elected director of the year on several occasions by Opernwelt magazine and at the 2017 International Opera Awards, he received the Lawrence Olivier Award for Tristan und Isolde at Royal Opera House in London in 2010 and the award for best production of the International Opera Awards 2016 by Peter Grimes at Theater an der Wien.

The prize for the Best New Production goes to Teatro de la Zarzuela for the Spanish opera La casa de Bernarda Alba by Miquel Ortega, which could be seen in the Madrid Coliseum in eight functions in November 2018. With a libretto by Julio Ramos based on the Federico García Lorca’s original work, the stage direction of this new production was carried out by Bárbara Lluch, with Rubén Fernández in charge of the musical direction. The cast included names such as Nancy Fabiola Herrera, Carmen Romeu, Luis Cansino, Carol García or Marifé Nogales, in addition to veteran actress Julieta Serrano. The scenery is signed by Ezio Frigerio and the costumes are by Franca Squarciapino.


The Best Lyric Promotion Initiative Award goes to Ópera de Butxaca and Nova Creació (OBNC), which has just celebrated its 25 years in the cultural scene. The jury of the awards has recognized its work in the absolute premiere, in March 2019, of the opera Je suis narcissiste, with music by Raquel García-Tomás and libretto by Helena Tornero, in a montage by Marta Pazos with musical direction by Vinicius Kattah, in co-production with Teatro Real of Madrid, Teatro Español and the Lliure Theater. In addition to his work for the promotion of the new creation, with the premiere of the chamber opera by the young composer Joan Magrané, Diàlegs de Tirant e Carmesina, which premiered in July 2019 at the Peralada Festival, in co-production with Gran Teatre del Liceu, in a proposal signed by Frances Prat in the musical and by Marc Rosich in the scenic direction, with Jaume Plensa in charge of the scenic space. The main objective of OBNC is to promote the new operatic creation, enhance the emergence of new composers, librettists and playwrights, as well as musicians and singers who frame their work in contemporary creation. It also presents works of small format by international authors in Catalonia.


The jury of the second edition of Ópera XXI Awards is composed of specialized journalists Eva Sandoval (RNE, Classic Radio), Jesús Ruiz Mantilla (El País), Maricel Chavarría (La Vanguardia), Gonzalo Alonso (La Razón), José Luis Jiménez (ABC); by the critic and co-director of the specialized magazine Platea Magazine, Alejandro Martínez, and the director of Opera Actual magazine, Fernando Sans Rivière, as well as the international critics Richard Martet (Opéra Magazine) and Victoria Stapells (Opera Magazine UK), in addition to by Andrés Rodríguez (Vice President of OLA, Ópera Latinamérica). All of them are experts of recognized national and international prestige and with a deep knowledge of the current national lyrical activity.were also present at the deliberations Oriol Aguilà, president of Opera XXI and director of Castell de Peralada Festival,; José Monforte, secretary of the Association and general director of Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía (Valencia), and Nieves Pascual, coordinator of the awards.

Honorary Awards

Last October, the Opera XXI Assembly, meeting at its semiannual meeting in Oviedo, chose the honorary awards for this second edition of the ceremony. The award for the Best Patronage Initiative went to La Caixa, which through its banking foundation La Caixa and its Social Work maintains a commitment to support the seasons of different Spanish theaters and festivals, as well as educational initiatives and dissemination programs and approach to opera. The Honorary Award to the Person is a recognition of the trajectory of José Antonio Campos Borrego, one of the personalities dedicated to the cultural management of our country. The honorary award to the Cultural Institution went to the Canarian Friends of Opera of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, for its important task of promoting, promoting and disseminating the opera during its 53 uninterrupted seasons.


The awards Ópera XXI are a commitment of the Association for the recognition of the intense lyrical activity in Spain and the artistic and creative talent that can be enjoyed in the Spanish stages season by season.