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Three operas staged at the Royal Opera House short-listed for awards

George Benjamin, Gerald Barry and David Bruce short-listed for British Composer Award 2013.

By Lottie Butler (Assistant Content Producer)

25 October 2013 at 2.59pm | Comment on this article

Gerald Barry, George Benjamin and David Bruce, who all had new work performed at the Royal Opera House last Season, have been short-listed in the British Composer Awards.

The Awards, now in their eleventh year, are presented by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA). Firmly established in the cultural calendar, they shine a spotlight on British composers and work as a catalyst for commissions, performances and broadcasts.

George Benjamin and David Bruce have both been nominated in the Stage Works category, for Written on Skin and The Firework-Maker’s Daughter respectively.

Written on Skin, which had its premiere at the 2012 Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, was rapturously received when it opened in Covent Garden last Season. Read audience reactions to the opening night. A collaboration with playwright Martin Crimp and directed by Katie Mitchell, the opera is a dark and passionate tale based on a 12th-century Occitan legend. Benjamin's music features rich orchestration, including a glass harmonica, mandolins and cowbells. Find out more about the opera from members of the cast and creative team.

David Bruce’s The Firework-Maker’s Daughter is based on a fairytale by Philip Pullman. The story follows the adventures of Lila, who sets out to discover the secrets of making fireworks. The score, characterized by energy, humour and folk-inspired melody, brings the fantasy to life. The opera, directed by John Fulljames, opened in the Linbury Studio Theatre last Season. Watch an interview with John Fulljames about the production.

Gerald Barry has been nominated in the International category for The Importance of Being Earnest. The opera was met with huge acclaim when it had its concert premiere at The Barbican in 2012. Last Season, it opened in the Linbury Studio Theatre with a staging by Ramin Gray. The opera is exuberant bordering on outrageous, and the instrumentation includes megaphones, pistols and wellington boots. Read more about the musical world of Gerald Barry. Read audience reactions to the opening night.

Any works that received their UK premiere between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013 were eligible for nomination for the British Composer Awards in a range of categories. View the full list of nominations.

Winners will be presented with awards at a ceremony on the 3 December at Goldsmith Hall in London, and will be the focus of a BBC Radio 3 broadcast about the Awards on Sunday 8 December 2013.

What is your favourite new opera for 2013?

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