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Music

German stars clean up at International Opera Awards

From Best Male and Female Singers to Best Ensemble and Readers' Prize, some of Germany's top singers are among the winners at the International Opera Awards in London.

Moses and Aronat the Komische Oper in Berlin, Copyright: Jörg Carstensen/dpa

The current production of Arnold Schönberg's "Moses and Aaron" at the Komische Oper

The International Opera Awards ceremony recognized soprano Anja Harteros as Female Singer and baritone Christian Gerhaher as Male Singer. Harteros comes from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Gerhaher from Bavaria.

Munich tenor Jonas Kaufmann - who took the honor for Male Singer two years ago - won this year's Readers' Prize of "Opera," the British opera magazine.

Barrie Kosky, Copyright: DW

Doubly honored: Barrie Kosky

Harteros, Gerhaher and Kaufmann were not present for the gala in London's Savoy Theater on Sunday evening (26.04.15). Polish soprano Aleksandra Kurzak was on hand, however. Sharing the Readers' Prize with Kaufmann, she sang Puccini's aria "O mio babbino caro" at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Berlin's Komische Oper continued a string of successes at the awards. Australian Barrie Kosky, the company's chief stage director - named Best Director last year - was back in London to accept top honors for Opera Ensemble.

The Lifetime Achievement award went to Speight Jenkins. The 78-year-old American left his position as director of the Seattle Opera last year after a 30-year career focusing in part on the works of Richard Wagner.

Christian Gerhaher, Copyright: AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau

Christian Gerhaher is a much-admired "Lied" singer as well

The International Opera Awards, which carry no cash prizes, were founded two years ago by "Opera" magazine publisher John Allison and British businessman Harry Hyman.

Prizes were awarded in 2015 in 21 categories, from Conductor (Soviet-born Semyon Bychkov) and Director (Richard Jones from England); Festival (Bregenz Festival) and New Production (Mussorgsky's "Khovanskygate" at the Birmingham Opera Company) to Young Singer (Justina Gringyte from Lithuania).

rf/kbm (dpa / International Opera Awards)

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