For the third year in a row, the English National Opera have won the Southbank Show Award in the opera category. This time the award was given for David Alden's critically acclaimed sell-out production of Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes. The previous two wins were for their joint production of Lost Highyway and Punch & Judy with The Young Vic, and also for David McVicar's controversial, but well received production of Britten's The Turn of the Screw.
Proving that once again that the ENO are Britain's most innovative and risk-taking opera company, the award is a welcome sign of the positive changes which are shaping an institution, which in the not too distant past, was racked by inward political instability as well as a lack of musical direction. Commenting on the win, the ENO Artistic Director John Berry said:
‘Winning this award for Peter Grimes highlights how ENO’s creative influence both in the UK and overseas has gained pace over the last three seasons. We have brought together an incredible creative team for this production co-produced with De Vlaamse Opera, Opera de Oviedo and Deutsche Oper Berlin. It is a tribute to David Alden’s visionary talent, Edward Gardner’s superb conducting, and spellbinding performances by the cast and ENO’s Orchestra and Chorus’.
Whilst the occasional effort may indeed mis-fire, it is only right that the ENO should showcase innovative stagings of operas which rarely take centre stage at The Royal Opera. David Alden is back very shortly with his lauded production of Donizetti's bel canto jewel, Lucia di Lammermoor, providing audiences with an opportunity to see a production that is both dramatically cohesive and musically taut.
With the talented Edward Gardner going from strenght to strength, It seems that all is going rather well in St Martin's Lane.