It isn't every year that Houstonians get to mark the annual International Opera Awards by heading downtown to see one of the year's top winners in the flesh - okay, this is the first year we or anyone else can do it, because the Opera Awards are new - but the just-picked best female singer of the year currently is appearing in the Houston Grand Opera's production of Tristan and Isolde.

Nina Stemme received the honor last night at the inaugural awards presentation in London. The Swedish soprano is performing the role of Isolde in Richard Wagner's Tristan and Isolde through May 5 at the Wortham Theater Center. It is an HGO debut both for Stemme and for Ben Heppner, who play the title roles in the Royal Opera House co-production.

Click here for the full list of International Opera Awards winners.

The Opera Foundation, founder of the Opera Awards, came into existence last year and instituted the awards to bring added recognition to opera, much like the Oscars do for film. The ceremony was held at London's Hilton Park Lane.

Movie stars get salary boosts and movies get box office bumps after winning big at the Oscars. We'll get to see first-hand if Stemme's win will result in sold out Houston shows.

 

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