ETO shortlisted for RPS Music Award for Opera and Music Theatre

11th April 2013

ETO’s ambitious and critically-acclaimed Autumn 2012 season has been shortlisted for the prestigious RPS Music Award for Opera and Music Theatre.

The season saw ETO collaborating with Aurora Orchestra on a nationwide tour of three highly theatrical twentieth-century operas – one paired with a staging of an eighteenth-century cantata.

The tour extended the company’s mission to bring opera to all by presenting opportunities for audiences at regional theatres and opera houses to see full-scale performances of strongly diverse and unusual works.

During the season, ETO toured new productions of Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring, Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse, and a paired staging of Viktor Ullmann’s short opera The Emperor of Atlantis and the Bach cantata Christ lag in Todesbanden.

ETO has been nominated for RPS Music awards in the past, but this is the first time the company has been shortlisted for the Opera and Music Theatre award. It is also rare that RPS chooses to celebrate a season of work, rather than individual operas.

The annual RPS Music Awards, presented in association with BBC Radio 3, are the highest recognition for live classical music in the UK. Awards, in thirteen categories, are decided by independent panels consisting of some of the music industry’s most distinguished practitioners.

The awards honour musicians, composers, writers, broadcasters and inspirational arts organisations. The list of previous winners reads like a Who’s Who of classical music.

This year’s RPS Music Awards celebrate outstanding achievement in 2012. The winners of all thirteen categories are revealed in May at a dinner at the Dorchester Hotel, London. The Opera and Music Theatre award is donated by the Incorporated Society of Musicians.

James Conway, ETO’s General Director, said: “I am honoured and delighted that the RPS has acknowledged our extraordinary – and risky – Autumn season of opera. Apart from scale, the three operas could hardly be more different, and we succeeded at least inasmuch as the productions reflected this.”

He added: “The most important award for this season was the warm and reassuring response of audiences all around the country. They said to us, in effect – ‘we aren’t in London, but we are relieved you take us seriously!’ ETO does take opera seriously – and the recognition of the RPS is very gratifying.”

John Harte, Chief Executive of Aurora Orchestra, said: “It’s difficult to overstate the importance of English Touring Opera’s contribution to the UK’s musical landscape. The autumn 2012 season seemed to me to epitomise the very best of what the company offers: outstanding quality; bold and innovative programming; and an ambitious commitment to the development of new audiences.”

He added: ‘In any circumstances we’d have been delighted to be part of three wonderful new productions, but ETO’s achievement in bringing these operas to such a wide and varied national audience meant that this was a particularly special project.’

ETO’s Autumn 2012 season was made possible thanks to the support of Arts Council England , Esmee Fairbairn Foundation and The Emperor of Atlantis Production Syndicate. We are extremely grateful for their support.

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