Several of Rayfield Allied’s artists have been included in this year’s nominations for the International Opera Awards, including Russian baritone Igor Golovatenko in the Male Singer category, and Harrison Birtwistle in the World Premiere category for his new chamber opera The Cure, which was premiered at the Aldeburgh Festival.
Igor Golovatenko drew attention from audiences and critics alike when he made his acclaimed Glyndebourne Festival debut in 2015 as Severo in Donizetti’s Poliuto. He starred alongside Ana María Martínez and Michael Fabiano, earning sensational reviews from the press:
“Only one singer – the outstanding Igor Golovatenko –phrases in a truly idiomatic fashion, giving full shape and meaning to Donizetti’s lines… All the vocal highlights are supplied by Golovatenko as Severo, the Roman Proconsul. His is a thrilling focused baritone by any standards, but here he supplies extra interest in his musicianly phrasing and is alone in giving full Donizettian value to the evening.” - Opera Magazine
“The young Russian Igor Golovatenko is immense: a voice like a sustained thunderclap.” - The Times
“The other figure in the love triangle is baritone Igor Golovatenko as the proconsul Severo, and he delivers the best singing of all – smooth, rich-toned and authoritative, yet his voice is agile enough to sound comfortable in everything Donizetti throws at him.” - The Guardian
“The radiant-toned Russian baritone Igor Golovatenko excelled as Severo, every word clear.” - The Observer
Harrison Birtwistle’s The Cure was conceived and performed as a double-bill with 2009 work The Corridor. Both libretti were written by Birtwistle’s long-standing collaborator, the poet David Harsent. The production was met with critical acclaim:
“Harrison Birtwistle has written musical theatre of the highest quality”. - The New York Times
“Birtwistle’s music reveals just as much of humanity’s most basic fears and passions” - The Times
“Birtwistle’s score, melancholy, vivid, exquisitely lyrical, marks yet another advance in his distinctive compositional process. His fingerprints
are all over it of course, but somehow he has discovered yet new ways to make music theatre on this intimate scale.” - The Observer
“Birtwistle’s instrumental writing is spare and keenly vivid.” - Opera Magazine
Several other Rayfield Allied artists sang key roles in nominated productions, including Jay Hunter-Morris in the world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain for Santa Fe Opera, Mats Almgren in the world premiere of Notorious by Hans Gefors at Gothenburg Opera, David Stout who sang Count Douglas in Mascagni’s Guglielmo Ratcliff for the Wexford Festival, and designer Alison Chitty and soprano Elizabeth Atherton for Birtwistle’s The Cure.
Nominees for the International Opera Awards were selected by a jury of distinguished industry figures, chaired by The Telegraph classical music critic and Opera Magazine editor John Allison. Its members are:
-Joanna C. Lee, musicologist
-Joan Matabosch , Artistic Director of the Teatro Real, Madrid
-Evans Mirageas, Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera and Vice-President for Artistic Planning for The Atlanta Symphony
-Annilese Miskimmon, opera director, Artistic Director at Danish National Opera and incoming Director of Opera of Den Norske Opera and Ballet
-Nicholas Payne, Director of Opera Europa
-Sebastian Schwarz, outgoing Deputy Artistic Director at the Theater an der Wien and recently announced new General Director of Glyndebourne
-Lyndon Terracini, Artistic Director of Opera Australia
-Hugh Canning, Chief Music Critic for the Sunday Times
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in central London on Sunday 15 May.