30 Jan 2024
As they approach their 60th anniversary the Monteverdi Choir was named ‘Best Choir’ at the Oper! Awards ceremony held at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam on 29 January 2024. Two choir members, Sam Evans and Samantha Cobb, joined Associate Conductor Dinis Sousa and General Director Rosa Solinas to accept the Oper! Award.
The Oper! Awards jury noted, “At festivals, on concert tours and in their numerous recordings, this is an ensemble whose quality will always leave the listener speechless. The singers have long since gone beyond the realm of their namesake and opera (co-)inventor, having moved well into the 19th century. Whether Baroque, the Classical period or the Romantic era, their singing is always unerringly tailored to the specific stylistic requirements. Again and again they have proven that, in addition to religious introspection, they are also masters of the grand operatic gesture, astounding us in Berlioz’ Les Troyens.”
Choir member Sam Evans said, “It’s a huge pleasure for us to be here this evening and a great honour to receive this award on behalf of our colleagues in the Monteverdi Choir. The Monteverdi Choir will celebrate its 60th anniversary this year. I’ve only sung in the Choir for 22 of those 60 years, but I know that in its six decade history the Monteverdi Choir has always striven for the highest artistic standards and we will continue to do that for many, many years to come. I’m very pleased to introduce you to the man who conducted us in Les Troyens at Versailles, in Salzburg, in Berlin, and at the BBC Proms, Dinis Sousa.”
Associate Conductor Dinis Sousa added, “I just wanted to thank Sam, also Rosa, and the other Sam who are here representing the wonderful Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras, and to say, as you know Les Troyens, what kind of an adventure this is, it’s huge and it requires everybody, I believe, to just throw themselves at it without any kind of reservation, and I think the Monteverdi Choir has been doing that for 60 years and I’m so pleased that they have received this recognition this year after the wonderful project and moving, life-changing experience that this piece has given us. I was very, very lucky to be surrounded by such a fearless group of singers and I have to extend that to an equally fearless Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and the whole team and supporters who made this happen.”
The Monteverdi Choir will return to Amsterdam for three performances of Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Dinis Sousa, featuring soprano Lenneke Ruiten and baritone Christian Gerhaher, on 29 February, 1 and 3 March, 2024.
The Oper! Awards are Germany’s only international opera prizes. They are presented annually during a gala to the best creatives of the international opera scene, working on or offstage, across 20 categories by a jury of music journalists.
Watch the Monteverdi Choir accepting the ‘Best Choir’ award at the Oper! Awards here.