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The latest opera by Detlev Glanert, Oceane, unveiled at the Deutsche Oper Berlin in 2019, has been awarded the prestigious 2021 International Opera Award for Best World Premiere.

Detlev Glanert’s opera Oceane has received the 2021 International Opera Award for Best World Premiere. The International Opera Awards are among the most prestigious acknowledgements in the genre of music theatre. Founded in 2013 by the publisher of the British journal Opera, they have since then annually honoured outstanding achievements on the international opera stage, with awards presented in around 20 categories. The 2020 award ceremony, which had to be postponed due to Coronavirus, took place on 10 May 2021 as an online event.

Commenting on the award for Best World Premiere, Detlev Glanert said: “This noble prize should also be seen as an award for perfect teamwork between conductor, director, librettist, composer and the whole opera house, especially for our singers, who took care of the piece in the most admirable way. And it is also an encouragement in these dark times for everyone: not to slacken in the artistic endeavour towards achieving a creative continuity for the most beautiful and human art genre of all.”

Glanert, born in 1960, is one of the most successful composers of his generation. Oceane, his twelfth music theatre work, varies the theme of the ‘woman from the sea’ who must remain a stranger in human society. Hans-Ulrich Treichel wrote the libretto based on a novel fragment by Theodor Fontane (1819-98). For Oceane, Glanert has already been awarded the German Opus Klassik in 2020.

> View scenes from Oceane on YouTube

The stagework was premiered at the Deutsche Oper Berlin at the end of April 2019 in a production by Robert Carsen under the musical direction of Donald Runnicles. Lead roles were sung by Maria Bengtsson, Nikolai Schukoff, Doris Soffel and Albert Pesendorfer, among others. The press described Oceane as “one of the most successful new operas of recent times” (Der Tagesspiegel) and as a “clever piece, a gentle homage to a literary luminary, and a reflection on the role of the outsider” (Financial Times).

The live recording of Oceane was released on CD by Oehms Classic in 2020. Follow-up performances of Glanert’s opera are planned in Berlin for the coming seasons and further new productions are in preparation.

>  Further information on Work: Oceane

Photos: Bernd Uhlig | Bettina Stöß

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