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Winners announced of Whatsonstage.com opera poll

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A night at the opera

Your votes have been counted and we're delighted to announce the winners in the Whatsonstage.com/Opera site's first-ever Opera Poll, which ran in tandem with the Whatsonstage.com Awards.

Almost 1,000 people cast their votes, which was a hugely encouraging number, especially given that this was the first year that we've run an Opera Poll on the site, proving what a large and active number of opera lovers there are among our readership.

It was a hard decision for Simon, Mark and myself to come up with a list on which we all agreed, but we're all thrilled with the outcome. It shows that there are plenty of people out there who are passionate about opera in the capital and are prepared to make their voice heard. Operatically there was much to admire in 2011, and this year looks set to be just as remarkable.

As the Opera Editor I'm fortunate to have seen everything that was up for a nomination and although the results are down to you, our readers, I was thrilled with the outcome. I don't think it's fair to comment on any individual nomination, so I won't!

- Keith McDonnell

Here is a list of the categories, nominees, and winners, accompanied by a quote from our reviews:

Best New Production

Rigoletto (Opera Holland Park) (54%)

Director: Lindsay Posner

"…it's heartening to report that not only does Lindsay Posner's staging of Rigoletto pack an enormous theatrical punch, but for its theatrical audacity, sense of danger and coherence, it knocks spots off recent performances of this work at London's more well-known operatic addresses."


Il Trittico (Richard Jones, ROH) 14.4%

The Damnation of Faust (Terry Gilliam, ENO) 13.4%

Castor and Pollux (Barry Cosky, ENO) 9.2%

Anna Nicole (Richard Jones, ENO) 8.7%

Outstanding Achievement in a Lead Role

Kristine Opolais (Madama Butterfly, ROH) (33.3%)

"The crowning glory of this performance was Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais' magnetic assumption of the title role. This was her first appearance with The Royal Opera, and I can't remember such a sensational debut. Drafted in at a relatively late stage due to Patricia Racette being indisposed, she gave the performance of a lifetime. Utterly heartbreaking on hearing that Pinkerton had deserted her, and in her farewell to her child, for me she was the most complete Cio-Cio-San I've ever seen. She was rightly rewarded with a thunderous ovation. A star is born? Without a doubt."


Sir John Tomlinson (Gurnemanz, ENO) 18.6%

Alice Coote (Prince Charming, ROH) 18.1%

Allan Clayton (Pollux, ENO) 16.5%

Stuart Skelton (Parsifal, ENO) 13.5%

Best Revival

The Turn of the Screw (Glyndebourne Festival Opera) (28.6%)

"Rarely this year have I had the privilege to attend a performance where everything was nigh on perfect, but Glyndebourne have achieved the impossible and not only made me look at Britten's opera with a completely different perspective, but listen to it anew as well."


Peter Grimes (ROH) 18.2%

The Elixir of Love (ENO) 17.9%

Werther (ROH) 17.8%

The Mikado (ENO) 17.5%

Outstanding Contribution to London's Operatic Scene

Sir Antonio Pappano for his work as music director of The Royal Opera (37.9%)

"This is Pappano's Figaro, though. His attention to orchestral detail is quite magical and his deft harpsichord flourishes raise continuo-playing to an art form. I'll go so far as to say that it is the best-conducted account of this opera I have yet heard. With Bafta waiting in the wings to hold its annual awards junket at this address, it's the Royal Opera's Music Director who gets my vote."


Terry Gilliam for his staging of The Damnation of Faust at ENO. 19%

Jonas Kaufmann for Cavaradossi at ROH and his Wigmore Recital. 15.9%

Elaine Padmore for her tenure as Director of Opera at The Royal Opera (2001-11). 15.2%

Eva-Maria Westbroek for her performances as Anna Nicole and Giorgetta (Il Tabarro) at ROH. 12%


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