Ópera XXI delivers the Spanish lyrical awards in an exciting face-to-face gala at the Teatro de la Zarzuela

The singers Carlos Álvarez and Xabier Anduaga; the stage directors Emilio Sagi and Robert Carsen, the conductor Riccardo Frizza, the Zarzuela Artistic and Educational Project of the Teatro de la Zarzuela or the production Turandot directed by Franc Aleu at the Gran Teatre del Liceu were awarded in an emotional ceremony that could be seen live on the website www.operaxxi.com and the online platforms My Opera Player (awarded as Best Broadcast Initiative during confinement together with the Peralada LiveStream Festival), Opera Vision, by Ópera Europa; the ARTE.TV channel and the websites of the 27 theaters and seasons that are part of the association.

The gala featured the performance of prominent artists from the lyric scene of our country, such as Sabina Puértolas, Ismael Jordi, Carlos Chausson (who received a Special Mention in the Best Singer section), Marina Monzó or Enrique Viana, who contributed the touch of humor to the ceremony.

“Thank you for helping us to be an international benchmark for talent, creation and management. You are our standard and you value the collective effort we made in the most difficult season ”. “There is still a long way to go, and we will undertake it together, consolidating our social value and overcoming our vulnerabilities”, the president of Ópera XXI, Oriol Aguilà, remarked in his speech.

All the awards were presented by professional women from different lyrical spaces in our country, thus highlighting their indispensable role within theaters and as a nod to a growing female presence in positions traditionally reserved for men.


“We said that we would once again step on the stages in person and today that will comes true”, the president of Ópera XXI, Oriol Aguilà, began his speech this Saturday, September 11, when all the theaters, seasons and Spanish lyrical festivals became one in the stage of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, where the gala of the third Opera XXI Awards, the Spanish lyrical awards, was held at 8:00 p.m. A ceremony full of emotion that showed the joy of the reunion on the faces of all those present.


In its third edition, the Ópera XXI Awards recognized the work and talent of the Spanish stages during the 19/20 season and were a unique occasion to vindicate the role of opera and all culture in our societies, and to applaud the “ enormous effort ”that both theaters, all their professionals and artists made in our country to overcome a season interrupted by the pandemic and manage to raise the curtain within a few months, becoming an international benchmark for management capacity in a context of enormous complexity.


The president of Ópera XXI, Oriol Aguilà, remarked in his speech during the ceremony his words in gratitude to all those involved in lyrical programming in our country and to those who support his activity. “These months we have made the extraordinary possible. And a very positive message has been launched from our theaters, with an open and obviously safe culture, which has given the world hope. Now we have a long way to go, and we will do it together, strengthening our value at the service of society and overcoming our vulnerabilities. In this way, accessibility and proximity are our priority ”. The president congratulated all the artists and professionals in the sector, especially the winners in this third edition: “For helping us to become a benchmark for talent, creation and inspiration. You are our standard and you value the collective effort we made in the most difficult season ”.


The ceremony became a true tribute to the professionals of the sector, to the camaraderie, represented on stage by a group of working women and representatives of different theaters and festivals in our country, in charge of delivering the different awards. There were words of thanks for the creatives, performers, composers, technicians and all those who work in the different scenic and musical trades. Also for the public, “which supports our activity and has shown us an absolutely priceless loyalty, understanding and support in recent months.”


“From the lyric, art fills humanity with meaning. Opera is our place in the world and from this stage I invite you all to discover and live with passion the seasons, which will undoubtedly be those of recovery, which these days raise and will raise the curtain throughout the territory “, the President of Opera XXI.



One of the most special accolades of the night, the Lifetime Achievement Award, went to stage director and cultural manager Emilio Sagi, who recently completed his forty-year career and received a huge ovation from the audience. He received the award from the director of INAEM, Amaya de Miguel.


“I want to share this award with the majority of people I have worked with, because I have done it with almost all the opera and zarzuela professionals. People who helped me so much, some who are gone, like Montserrat Caballé. And that they always did it with a smile and always respecting my idea of ​​dramaturgy. Also to the technical and artistic teams that helped me make those works for which I am being rewarded today. I want to have a special mention for the public, who showed us that even though the theaters were closed, they followed us online, with restricted capacity, they filled that capacity, and that they will continue to fill the theaters when they are fully open ”, said Sagi.



Throughout the ceremony, which was presented by the stage director Bárbara Lluch and the director of the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Daniel Bianco, the words of the different winners were heard, two of them online, Robert Carsen, from Vienna: “ More than ever we are showing how important opera is and that it does not have any type of borders ”, and Carlos Álvarez, who is rehearsing the“ Rigoletto ”that will open the next season at the Royal Opera House in London. “What I do is what I like, what I have to do. And this is an award, I feel like a collective award. I am proud not only to receive it, but because that “Don Carlo” from the Friends of the Opera of A Coruña was made in a very dramatic situation. And it was already seen then that culture was the sensitive place through which we were all going to escape from it ”, said Carlos Álvarez.


There was also time for the great and long-awaited performances, such as those of the tenor Ismael Jordi (“Tombe degli avi miei… fra poco a me ricovero”, Lucia di Lammermoor, -Donizetti-), the sopranos Sabina Puértolas (“Caro nome”, Rigoletto , -Verdi-) and Marina Monzó (“Ah !, donate il caro sposo”, Il signor Bruschino, -Rossini-), and the bass baritone Carlos Chausson, who received a Special Mention in the Best Singer section, (“When I was giovinetto ”, Il burbero di buon cuore, -V. Martín i Soler-). The most pleasant moment of the night was given by Professor Doña Lugarda Perea, Enrique Viana, who sang “Flor de té” by Juan Martínez Abades. All of them accompanied on piano by Rubén Fernández Aguirre.


Carlos Chausson asked the institutions and authorities: “More support for culture and the arts, values ​​that define us as a people and society.”


This gala, which was the first face-to-face meeting of the main representatives of the national lyrical sector since March 2019 (the second edition had to be held online as a result of the pandemic), the date on which the Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona The first edition of these awards, could be seen online on the association’s website www.operaxxi.com, through the European platforms Opera Vision, My Opera Player (which received ‘ex aequo’ with the Perada Livestream Festival for the Best Digital Initiative during confinement), on Arte.tv and on the websites of the 26 institutions that are part of Ópera XXI.


The jury for 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.