Opera North has been nominated in two categories of the inaugural International Opera Awards. The Company’s production of Norma has been nominated the new production category and Richard Farnes, Opera North’s music director, has been nominated in the conductor category.
Norma premiered in Leeds in January 2012, with Dutch soprano Annemarie Kremer making her UK debut in the title role. Bellini’s high priestess is one of the most celebrated of all bel canto roles - with one of the most famous of soprano arias in ‘Casta Diva’ – but she is also one of the most dramatic and powerful figures in opera.
Annemarie Kremer was joined by a highly acclaimed international cast including American soprano, Keri Alkema as Adalgisa, Mexican tenor, Luis Chapa as Pollione and American bass, James Creswell as Oroveso, conducted by Oliver von Dohnányi. Director, Christopher Alden, set designer, Charles Edwards, costume designer, Sue Willmington and lighting designer, Adam Silverman created a dramatic vision for Norma which updated its setting to an insular rural community in the rapidly industrialising mid-19th Century.
Richard Farnes read Music at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar, and went on to study at the National Opera Studio, Royal Academy of Music and Guildhall School of Music. Since becoming Opera North’s music director in 2004 he has conducted works such of The Makropulos Case and From The House of Dead and is currently working through Opera North’s four year cycle of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen, with Siegfried premiering in June.
The new International Opera Awards recognises the achievements of all the performers, producers and teams that work in Opera.
The categories will be judged by an independent panel of industry experts, and presented at a ceremony at the Hilton Park Lane on the 22 April 2013.
Prodo credit: Alastair Muir