Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Jill Krementz covers the Opera News awards

The five honorees of the Opera News awards have all appeared on covers of Opera News over the past forty years.

Clockwise from top left:
Anja Silja (March 11, 1972; the magazine was using black and white photographs in 1972); The current issue of Opera News (April 2012), which contains profiles of all five winners; Peter Mattei (November 2006); Karita Mattila (September 2009); Peter Sellars (February 2011); Dmitri Hvorostovsky (February 2012).
Opera News Awards
The Plaza Hotel
April 29th, 2012

The seventh annual Opera News Awards was held on Sunday evening in the Grand Ballroom of the Plaza Hotel. The magazine, celebrating its 76th anniversary, is published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild.

The five awards were presented to Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Peter Mattei, Karita Mattila, Peter Sellars, and Anja Silja.

The evening was hosted by Stephanie Blythe. Presentees were James Conlon, Sherrill Milnes, Eric Owens, and Kaija Saariaho.
Richard Miller is the President of The Metropolitan Opera Guild. In addition to being a partner at Morris & McVeigh, Mr. Miller sings with The Blue
Hill Troupe.
The Met's Stephanie Blythe hosted the evening.
The American mezzo-soprano is part of the Met's current Ring cycle performing in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre.
Operatic soprano Karita Mattila. Ms. Mattila, one of the five honorees, is currently singing the role of the ageless diva in the Met's production of Janacek's The Makropulos Case.
Bass-baritone Eric Owens on hand to present an award to Peter Sellars. Claudia Kozma Kaplan is the marketing officer of many of the leading hotels in the world.
WQXR's Midge Woolsey interviewing honoree Peter Sellars. The American director is renowned for his work at the Met on Nixon in China and Doctor Atomic. He is now collaborating with novelist Toni Morrison and singer Rokia Traoré on a Shakespeare-inspired work for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad fesitval in London.
Honoree Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Honoree Peter Sellars.
Dr. Manuccio Manucci (a retired physician), Karon Cullen Meyer, one of the evening's co-chairmen, and Richard Miller.
Winthrup Rutherford, Chairman of the Met Opera Guild. Pam Davis Owens, from Newport and New
York City.
Woolsey with Owens, who said he would be the artist in residence this summer at Glimmerglass where he will be teaching classes as well as appearing in Aida and Lost in the Stars. "I'm staying in a house on the lake and hope I'll have time to go to some jazz clubs."
Brad Woolbright, Artistic Administrator of the Santa Fe Opera. Composer Kaija Saariaho, who presented the Award to her friend, Karita Mattila.
The New York Philharmonic's Alan Gilbert. Howard Soloman with his wife, Sarah Billinghurst, artistic manager of the Met.
Sherrill Millnes, one of the great baritones of
all time.
Conductor James Conlon and Karita Mattila.
Chris Bergen. Mr. Bergen speaks five languages and translates many operas. Met Titles (that appear on the back of the seats directly in front of opera goers) have been a huge addition at the Met. Bergen spends June and July at The Santa Fe Opera doing the same thing. Martina Arroyo, who made her Met debut in Don Carlo in 1959. Arroyo was one of the great sopranos in the Italian repertoire during the 1960s and 70s. In addition to the Met she sang at all the great international theaters.
Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky made his Met debut in 1995 as Yeletsky in Queen of Spades. Named by People magazine as one of its 50 most beautiful people, the silver-maned Russian has set hearts throbbing as Prince Andrei in Tchaikovsky's War and Peace. Samuel Aronson and George Cooper. Mr. Aronson entered a sweepstakes competition held by Opera News. 7,000 people submitted entries and Mr. Aronson was the lucky winner of an evening at the gala to which he could bring a friend (in this case, Mr. Cooper).
Eric Owens snuggling on the shoulder of Stephanie Blythe.
Sherrill Milnes and Peter Sellars. Karen Kriendler Nelson and I have been friends since childhood. She used to run The Richard Tucker Foundation and now runs her own
PR company.
Two baritones tweeting: Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Sherrill Milnes.
H.R.H. Princess Madeleine of Sweden, Peter Sellars, Eric Owens, and Karita Mattila.
Conductor James Conlon, who flew in from
Torino for the evening. Conlon, on hand to
present the Opera News award to Anja Silja,
will be conducting A Midsummer's Night Dream
at the Met in 2013.
James Conlon with his wife Jennifer Ringo. Ms. Ringo, once a singer, is now a teacher of vocal diction and languages at New York City Opera.
Maestro Conlon and Anja Silja. Conlon conducted several productions over the years with Ms Silja performing at both the Met and the Paris Opera. She is known by many opera fans as "one of the great singing actresses."
Gil Shiva. Mercedes Bass, the honorary co-chairman of the evening. She is wearing Oscar, of course.
Jennifer Ringo, Richard Miller, Mercedes Bass, James Conlon, and Shirley Lord Rosenthal.
Judy Auchincloss is a member of the Opera Guild board, and served on the event commitee for the evening. Paul Gruber, the Executive Director, Program Development at the Metropolitan Opera Guild, has been at the Guild for 36 years.
Director/writer Scott Barnes, who often works as a dramatic coach for opera singers. He and Brian Kellow (right) have been partners for seven years. Brian Kellow is the Features Editor of Opera News magazine and profiled Anja Silia for the issue celebrating the magazine's annual award. Mr. Kellow's biography of Pauline Kael is in its third printing.
The honorees, presenters, and the host of the Seventh Annual Opera News Awards:
Front row, l. to r.: Sherrill Milnes, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Peter Mattei, and James Conlon.
Top row, l. to r.: Stephanie Blythe, Anja Silja, Peter Sellars, Eric Owens, and Karita Mattila.

Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz: all rights reserved.