Carlos Álvarez, Xabier Anduaga, Robert Carsen, Riccardo Frizza, the production of Turandot del Liceu and the artistic and educational project Zarza from the Teatro de la Zarzuela will be awarded next Saturday, September 11, in the third edition of the Opera XXI Awards

At the gala, which will be held in person at the Teatro de la Zarzuela, and which will be the first reunion of the entire Spanish lyrical sector since March 2019, the stage director Emilio Sagi will be recognized for a career

For the season interrupted by the pandemic, Ópera XXI incorporated the Best Digital Initiative award during the confinement, which the jury awarded ex aequo to the MyOperaPlayer platform led by the Teatro Real and the Peralada Livestream Festival.

Bass-baritone Carlos Chausson will receive a special mention at the gala. Amics de s`Òpera de Maó and the Telefónica company will receive two of the honorary awards.

The gala, which will be offered via streaming, will feature performances by several of the most prominent artists on the national lyrical scene.


This Saturday, September 11, 2021, starting at 8:00 p.m., the third edition of the Opera XXI Awards will be held, the national lyrical awards, which will be held in person at Madrid’s Teatro de la Zarzuela.


The awards that will be presented next Saturday, in a ceremony conducted by the director of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Daniel Bianco, and the stage director Bárbara Lluch, recognize the best of the Spanish stages in the work of interpretation (best singer and best young singer), musical direction (best director), operatic production (best stage director, best new production, best Latin American production) and the most outstanding initiative to promote lyricism during the 2019-2020 season, the cycle that interrupted the pandemic and forced the scenic spaces to close during the worst months of Covid19.


The gala of the third Opera XXI Awards is the first reunion of the highest representatives of theaters, festivals and lyrical seasons of our country since March 2019, date of the first edition of these awards, since the second edition had to be held performed in streaming. A good number of artists, personalities from the cultural, social and political world and professionals from the main theaters, festivals and lyrical seasons in Spain will also be present at the delivery.


“We are especially excited to meet again in person, after so many months of enormous effort on the part of all the theaters, festivals and seasons; of the artists and the magnificent professional teams that we have ”, says the president of Ópera XXI, Oriol Aguilà. “It was a grueling few months for all of us and we hope to have put the worst of this pandemic behind us. It is a pride to be part of a sector, of a cultural activity, which has been the admiration of the world for its ability to organize and get ahead. It is necessary to value that the opera and zarzuela of our country are today benchmarks at the international level ”. In fact, the entire gala will be a tribute to the public, artists and professionals in the lyrical sector, and will feature the performance of prominent artists from the lyrical scene of our country.


For the celebration of the ceremony, all the prevention and sanitary control measures that the Teatro de la Zarzuela applies to its shows, both in the hall and backstage, will be taken into account, thus guaranteeing maximum safety and comfort for both the public and the guests. artists who will participate in the course of the gala. The show will last approximately one hour and twenty minutes, and will be broadcast on the international platforms OperaVision, Canal ARTE, MyOperaPlayer, as well as on the website and on the YouTube channel of the Teatro de la Zarzuela .


The edition of the awards that symbolize the stoppage due to the pandemic in the Spanish seasons has an absolutely exceptional character and includes an award for the Best Digital Initiative during confinement, with the purpose of highlighting and valuing activities, generosity and effort developed in the digital and audiovisual field by theaters, seasons and festivals since March 2019, within the framework of social distancing and security measures to prevent the spread of Covid19 in our country. The award ceremony will take place in person at the Teatro de la Zarzuela on September 11, 2021.


The President of Ópera XXI acknowledges that: “It is important, when remembering, to remember those first closings and cancellations, the uncertainty of a completely new and unknown situation for us, and the path of constant reinvention that we have traveled up to now. The essential character of our activity and its social and economic dimension were revalidated once again. That is why we want September 11 to be a celebration of all that, that we can finally be united and continue to strengthen ties and that it be the first step for a cycle of seasons, on 20/21, completely different and hopeful ”.


The jury of this edition, which met at the Teatro Real in Madrid on May 10, 2021, is made up of people of recognized prestige and with a deep knowledge of current national lyrical activity. It was integrated by critics and specialized journalists, representatives of the main national and international media, Gonzalo Alonso, Maricel Chavarría, José Luis Jiménez, Alejandro Martínez, Jesús Ruiz Mantilla, Richard Martet, Fernando Sans-Rivière, Eva Sandoval, Victoria Stapells, Javier Pérez Senz, Ana Vega Toscano and manager Andrés Rodríguez, representing and vice president of Ópera Latinoamérica (OLA). Also present in the deliberations were the president of Ópera XXI, Oriol Aguilà, the secretary of the association, José Monforte, and the coordinator of the awards, Nieves Pascual.


In addition, these awards include the granting of three honorary prizes: for personal trajectory, for cultural institution and for promoting patronage, designated in Assembly by all members of Ópera XXI.






The Best Singer Award goes to the baritone Carlos Álvarez (Málaga, 1966), for his interpretation of the role of Rodrigo from the opera ‘Don Carlo’, Verdi, at the Teatro Colón, September 2019, within the lyrical program organized by the Friends of the Opera of A Coruña.


Carlos Álvarez has one of the most solid careers in the opera scene in recent times. He has sung in the most important coliseums in the world, such as La Scala in Milan, ROH Covent Garden, Salzburg Festival, Staatsoper in Vienna or La Arena in Verona, in addition to being acclaimed year after year on the main stages of our country. His numerous awards include a Grammy Award (2001), the Cannes Classical Award and the Gold Medal for Fine Arts (2003), the prestigious title of Kammersänger the Vienna Opera (2013) and he holds the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Malaga. In the 2019/2020 season, he also played the character of Alfonso XI in the opera ‘The favorite’, Donizetti, at the Cervantes Theater in Malaga.




The jury also awarded a Special Mention within this section to the bass-baritone Carlos Chausson (Zaragoza, 1950), for his interpretation of the leading role in the opera ‘Don Pasquale’ at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville in October 2019.


Chausson started his career in San Diego, singing the role of Masseto ‘Don Giovanni’. From that moment he began to stand out in the main companies in the United States, and later in the main opera houses in the world and in Spain, in cities such as Vienna, Zurich, Milan, Berlin, Barcelona or Madrid, and in important festivals, such as the one in Salzburg. His wide repertoire includes ‘Il barbiere di Siviglia’, ‘Le nozze di Figaro’, ‘Così fan tutte’, ‘L’italiana in Algeri’, ‘La fille du regime’ or ‘La Cenerentola’, among others, always standing out for the enormous mastery with which he tackles the buffo roles.




The tenor Xabier Anduaga will receive the Best Young Singer Award for his brilliant path of success, which, at 26, has already established him as one of the best performers of today with an outstanding national and international career.


Voice of the Orfeón Donostiarra since he was 7 years old, Xabier Anduaga (San Sebastián, 1995) has participated in the Rossini de Pesaro Festival since 2016, he opened the Donizetti Festival in Bergamo with enormous success in 2018, he was the great winner of the Operalia contest held in Prague in 2019 and, at his age, and with just five years of career, an important gap has already been opened in several of the most prestigious theaters and national and international festivals, the result of an undeniable virtuosity. He debuted the role of Ferrando at the Teatro de la Maestranza in October 2020; That same month he participated in the concert ‘Viva el bel canto’ by Amigos de Ópera de A Coruña, he participated in the ‘Christmas Stars’ gala at AGAO last December.




The Best Musical Director Award goes to Riccardo Frizza, for his work leading the performances of ‘Lucia di Lammermoor’, Donizetti, at ABAO Bilbao Ópera (Palacio Euskalduna) in October 2019.


Musical director of the Donizetti Opera Festival in Bergamo since 2017, Riccardo Frizza regularly conducts in the most important theaters, musical institutions and festivals on the international scene and has been in charge of several of the main orchestras in the world. His presence is also common in coliseums and festivals in our country, where in 2021 he directed Les Contes d’Hoffmann at the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Las Tres Reinas concert with the final scenes of Donizetti’s Tudor trilogy (Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux) with soprano Sondra Radvanovsky. In September he will return to the Royal Theater inaugurating his season with La Cenerentola. He specializes in the Italian repertoire of composers such as Donizetti, Bellini, Rossini, Verdi and Puccini.




The Best Stage Direction Award goes to Robert Carsen, for his proposals for the opera Elektra, Richard Strauss, at the Palau de les Arts in Valencia in January 2020, and for his work at the Teatro Real for the performances of La Valkyrie, Wagner, in February 2020.


Born in Toronto, Robert Carsen studied at the Old Vic Theater and was an assistant at the Glyndebourne Festival for five years. He has directed titles such as ‘Die Tote Stadt’ at the Komische Oper in Berlin, ‘Der Rosenkavalier’ at the Royal Opera House in London, ‘Don Giovanni and Katia Kabanová’ at the La Scala Theater in Milan, or ‘Wozzeck’ with enormous success. , ‘Agrippina’ and ‘The Turn of the Screw’ at the Theater an der Wien. If anything defines his style, it is the combination of visual poetry and movement, which he has brilliantly applied in his post-apocalyptic aesthetic to the Wagnerian work in the Madrid Coliseum and to reach the emotional guts of Strauss’s protagonist at the Elektra in Valencia. .




The award for Best New Production goes to Turandot, Puccini, programmed by the Gran Teatre del Liceu in October 2019.


“Turandot” at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. Photo: Annals of the Gran Teatre del Liceu.


Futurist and poetic bet, this montage with which the Barcelona video artist Franc Aleu made his debut as stage director, with Susana Gómez from Oviedo in the co-direction, filled the stage with visual metaphors, colors and textures, making use of the latest technologies. The Teatre del Liceu inaugurated the 2019/2020 season with this title, which had an important creative team that included, in addition to Franc Aleu and Susana Gómez, the scenography of Carles Berga (and Franc Aleu), the costumes of Chu Uroz , multimedia technologies by José Vaaliña, lighting by Marco Filibeck, 3d art infographics by Nil Estany, Martina Ampuero and Romà Hereter; assistance to the stage direction of Salva Bolta, assistance to the wardrobe of Joana Poulastrou, assistance to the lighting of Oscar Frosio, construction of the scenography of Delfini Group S.R.L., preparation of the costumes of Pachuco, Txu, S.L .; Multimedia technologies from Eyesberg Studio, stage robots from Universal Robots and their integration by Iberfluid Systems and the VR App programmer Giuseppe Morittu. (This production is available on until 10/12/2021)




The Award for the Best Lyric Promotion Initiative is for the Zarza Project, an artistic and dissemination project created by the director of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Daniel Bianco, with the aim that young generations know the Spanish lyrical heritage, of approach new audiences and open the door to new generations of artists.


The motto of the project is “Zarzuela made by young people and for young people” and to date, in its five editions, it has adapted four classics of our boy genre: ‘La revoltosa’, ‘El duo de la africana’, ‘La verbena de la Paloma ‘, and’ Agua, azucarillos y aguardiente ‘, and has presented an original title, the recent’ Amores en zarza ‘, whose story unfolds through a selection of musical numbers from different zarzuelas. Starring artists between 18 and 30 years old, the works of ‘Zarza’ adapt the texts and the scene to the contemporaneity of the new public.




The jury of the Ópera XXI Awards granted ex aequo the Best Digital Initiative Award during the confinement to the My Opera Player platform, the Teatro Real video library platform, and the Peralada Livestream Festival.


After the closing of the theaters in March 2020, due to Covid19, and during the harshest months of the pandemic, the Royal Theater consolidated the projection of its audiovisual platform and offered all its contents to the world, so that thousands of people could enjoy its extensive catalog openly and with free access to content. In addition, it expanded its offer of shows and incorporated new sections to offer a documentary and didactic vision and enrich the user experience.


Faced with the impossibility of offering its shows in person in July 2020, the Peralada International Festival reinvented itself and launched the Peralada Livestream Festival, an exceptional edition adapted to the situation and totally free that took place on the premises of the Carme del Castillo de Peralada, which featured artists such as the bailaora María Pagés, the soprano Sabina Puértolas, the musical director Josep Pons leading the Liceu Symphony Orchestra; or the singer and composer Alfonso de Vilallonga. The festival developed in parallel an informative campus and an exhibition space.


OLA AWARD, in collaboration with Ópera Latinoamérica


The new Latin American Production fell on the production of ‘La Italiana en Argel’, by Rossini, which could be seen at the Municipal Theater of Santiago de Chile in October 2019, with stage direction by Rodrigo Navarrete and musical by José Miguel Pérez-Sierra .


Navarrete places the action between the late 60s and early 70s of the 20th century, at a time that is linked and thus interspersed in his proposal with the independence of Algeria (1962), the appearance of the mini skirt (Mary Quant) and the first important female leaderships.






During the first week of May, the Opera XXI Assembly, held at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, established the honorary awards of this third edition of the Opera XXI Awards.


The award for a lifetime, the Honorary Award for the Person, will be received at the September gala by stage director Emilio Sagi, after celebrating a forty-year career as a cultural manager and stage director.


After obtaining a doctorate in Philosophy and Letters from the University of Oviedo, he moved to the University of London to study Musicology. As a stage director, he appeared in Oviedo, his hometown, in 1980, with ‘La Traviata’, by Verdi, and since then he has built a career of enormous prestige, becoming one of the Spanish artists with the greatest international projection and that most He has contributed to updating both the opera and the zarzuela. In 1990 he was appointed director of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, a position that he will hold until December 1999. He was also artistic director of the Teatro Real in Madrid (2001-2005) and the Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao (2008-2015).


His stage experience ranges from baroque zarzuela to contemporary opera, which he has conducted in several of the best theaters in the world. He has promoted co-productions with different national and international theaters and brought opera and zarzuela to stages such as La Scala in Milan, among many others. He has just received the Gold Medal of Fine Arts from Spain and his hometown has recently named him Favorite Son. Emilio Sagi inaugurated the 2019/2020 season of the Palau de les Arts with the stage direction of ‘Le nozze di Figaro’, Mozart, and directed ‘Il Pirata’, Bellini, at the Teatro Real in Madrid in December 2019.




The Telefónica company was designated in the Assembly as the Best Patronage Initiative, for its commitment to support the seasons of different theaters, festivals, educational and dissemination programs and approach to opera, especially highlighting its sensitivity in the work of audiovisual projects and digitization.




On this occasion, the Honorary Award distinguishes the Maó Opera Season, which is organized by the Menorcan association of Friends of Opera de Maó. Thus, the important task of promoting, promoting and disseminating the opera of the Menorcan foundation is rewarded during its 50 uninterrupted seasons of opera.


On March 17, 1971, a group of friends encouraged by Rafael Timoner, mayor of Maó, decided to establish a private non-profit association that would be able to bring together people who love opera, to promote, organize and maintain the tradition. Menorcan operatic. Amics d ’s`Ópera de Maó, the following year, would already be in charge of celebrating the First Week of Opera with‘ Il barbiere di Siviglia ’, Rossini, and‘ Fausto ’, Gounod. They carry out their activity in the oldest operatic coliseum in Spain, the Teatre Principal, built in 1829.