Festival della Valle d’Itria, finalist in the International Opera Awards

An international jury will select the very best of 2018’s opera and award prizes at a gala event in London on 29 April

At this time every year the international music world awaits with trepidation the announcement on BBC Radio 3 of the finalists in the International Opera Award: there was a wonderful surprise and great joy this year at the inclusion of the Festival della Valle d’Itria among the six finalists in the Festival category.

Alongside the Martina Franca event, the other contenders are: Garsington Opera (a British festival founded in 1989 and taking place near London), Janáček Brno Festival (the Czech city’s tribute to its national composer), Opera Holland Park (a recently-founded summer festival in a London park inspired by inclusion and social responsibility), Prototype Festival (held in January in New York and dedicated to new music and multidisciplinary projects) and Ruhrtriennale (founded in a post-industrial zone of Germany in 2002, and presenting some 30 productions a year, including opera, art, pop and jazz, with three-year cycles focusing on different themes and conductors).

The inclusion of the Martina Franca festival in the line-up of finalists is even more remarkable considering the small number of Italian nominees to reach this stage: the Teatro alla Scala Chorus, designer Paolo Fantin, singers Anna Caterina Antonacci, Daniela Barcellona, Rosa Feola and Alex Esposito and the world premiere of Fin de Partie by Kurtág at Teatro alla Scala.

Founded in 2012 by philanthropist Harry Hyman, the awards feature 18 categories; the judging panel consists of cultural figures and journalists from all over the world. The winners will be announced and prizes awarded on 29 April at a gala evening at London’s Sadler’s Wells, which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

Great satisfaction and joy for the festival’s president Franco Punzi, artistic director Alberto Triola, musical director Fabio Luisi and everyone involved in this latest achievement, which “indicates an upward trajectory that promises well for future events and for the 45th edition of the festival this summer, to mark the hundredth anniversary of Paolo Grassi’s birth and whose theme is the masterpieces of the Neapolitan school”.