The second International Opera Awards took place on April 7, 2014 in London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. Highlights of the evening included a surprise performance from Male Singer of the year, winner Stuart Skelton. Intended to be an honor similar to the ‘Oscars’ for film, the annual ‘Operas’—as they are unofficially called by audiences—are global in scope and awarded in 21 categories, offering a unique chance to compare international achievements in opera.

The Warsaw National Opera’s production of The Merchant of Venice by forgotten pianist Andrzej Czajkowski (left) is the year’s best premiere in the opera world, according to the awards. The jury awarded the prize for the first performance of the piece at the Bregenzer Festspiele, which was co-produced by the Warsaw National Opera and the Adam Mickiewicz Institute

Other Poles were also in the running for awards at this prestigious competition. The Merchant of Venice competed with the famous Qudsja Zaher by Paweł Szymański in the category of world premiere. Tenor Piotr Beczała also fought for the audience award. In addition, director Krzysztof Warlikowski was nominated in the best premiere category for his production of Kobieta bez cienia [Woman without a Shadow]. Baritone Andrzej Dobber was also nominated in the category of CD release for operatic recital entitled “Arias” (DUX 0959).