Bryn Terfel as Hans Sachs (Catherine Ashmore WSJ)
Awards ceremonies can be funny old things. Just ask Jarvis Cocker or Roberto Benigni...maybe not Mick Fleetwood. Most fair minded people would accept that comparing the artistic merits of books, films, blow drying and tinting is impossible given the variety of tastes on offer to human taste buds. Having sat on some judging panels myself I can now, after fifteen years of reflection, admit that my casting vote for Wagging Tongue’s Salon Conversationalist of the Year 1995 was weighted not for the winner’s patter but because she reminded me of Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star. But I am just a mere mortal on this spinning, spherical, circular...erm…planet, my dear, dear readers.
Fast forward to 2010.
The place? The Lyric Theatre in Old London Town.
The prize? The TMA Achievement in Opera Award 2010.
Glyndebourne (Billy Budd). Opera North (Ruddigore). WNO (Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg).
Are you feeling tense? Nervous? Heart racing like a pneumatic drill set to Being Chased by Villagers With Torches and Pitchforks Level 8? Are your eyes chewing the screen? Is sweat cascading from your curled hands? Your voice, is it rising rising louder, and louder, and louder as you read this to your colleagues in your office, your parakeet back home or to a carriage full of strangers on your way to / from work?
I’ll get on with it.
And the winner, ladies and gentlemen, is, was...WNO for Die Meistersinger!
Okay, so you probably guessed the result by the very fact I’ve written this post, and while I do take awards with a hefty pinch of salt I can’t deny I was pleased to see Meistersinger recognised in this way. Sadly I wasn’t there to shout out Yes! Yes! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees! before charging onto the stage, grabbing the award and thanking everyone on the panel for giving me, the opportunity, to thank everyone I had ever met (with the exception of Kevin “The Sand in your Eye Kid”) for inspiring me to win the award for World’s Greatest Ever Blinker.
Fortunately for, WNO, John Fisher was in attendance and he had the following to say...
"This is a great honour…I want to stress that this award has been won by the whole company; it is recognition for every person who works at WNO, and acknowledges their extraordinary commitment in meeting the enormous challenge of performing such a complex and ambitious work. It also highlights again the magnificent cast led by Bryn Terfel, the marvellous conducting of Lothar Koenigs, WNO’s Music Director, and the brilliant production of Richard Jones and his team."
(nabbed from WNO website)