Entertainment & Arts

Jonas Kaufmann wins best male opera singer award

Jonas Kaufmann
German operatic tenor Jonas Kaufmann is best known for playing Don José in Carmen, Cavaradossi in Tosca and the title role in Don Carlos

Tenor Jonas Kaufmann has won best male singer and the reader's award at the inaugural International Opera awards.

Known as the "new king of tenors", Kaufmann debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 2006.

The reader's award was voted for by readers of Opera Magazine. Best female singer went to Nina Stemme.

The Opera Awards Foundation was founded last year by businessman and opera buff Harry Hyman and Opera Magazine editor John Allison.

Kaufmann edged out Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel, tenors Aleksandrs Antonenko, Piotr Beczala and Joseph Calleja, as well as bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, to take home the award

Stemme beat competition from Britain's Sarah Connolly, Joyce DiDonato, Evelyn Herlitzius, Catherine Naglestad and Beatrice Uria-Monzon to win the top female prize.

There were a total of 1500 nominations from 41 different countries, ahead of the shortlist.

A panel of 10 opera experts, ranging from critics to singers, decided on the winners.

Meanwhile, the Royal Opera House's Antonio Pappano beat fellow British conductor Richard Farnes of Opera North and Germany's Ingo Metzmacher, Christian Thielemann and Italian Nicola Luisotti, to the best conductor trophy.

Frankfurt Opera, which boasts 12,000 subscription holders, scooped the best company statue, beating Opera National de Lyon, Staatsoper in Stuttgart, the Stanislavsky Music Theatre in Moscow and Theater an der Wien in Vienna.

The lifetime achievement award, an award based on voting by readers of Opera magazine, was received by Sir George Christie, former chairman of Glyndebourne Productions Lt; and founder-chairman of the London Sinfonietta from 1968-1988.

He was knighted in 1984 for his services to music and made Companion of Honour in 2001.

The winners in some 23 categories ranged from best new production and best director to best set and costume designers.

See the full list of winners at the International Opera Awards website.

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