Jonas Kaufmann, Aleksandra Kurzak and Richard Jones honoured at the Opera Awards 2015

Two of the biggest stars in the opera world – tenor Jonas Kaufmann and soprano Aleksandra Kurzak – have been named the winners of the Readers’ Award at this year’s annual Opera Awards.

Jonas Kaufmann

The conductor award went to Semyon Bychkov while the award for best new production was presented to Birmingham Opera Company for its performance of Mussorgsky’s Khovanskygate, directed by Graham Vick.

The awards, which are supported by Classic FM, were presented in a ceremony hosted by Richard E. Grant at The Savoy Theatre. The award for female singer was presented to soprano Anja Harteros and best male singer went to baritone Christian Gerhaher.

The star-studded ceremony included performances by Readers’ Award-winner Aleksandra Kurzak and Young Singer Award-winner, mezzo-soprano Justina Gringyte.

Designer Es Devlin, who recently created designs for productions of Don Giovanni and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Royal Opera House, was named best designer. Richard Jones, who recently directed The Mastersingers of Nuremberg at English National Opera, was named best director.

The award for best opera company was presented to Komische Oper Berlin.

The other winners were:

Accessibility: Den Norske Opera

CD (Complete Opera): Offenbach’s Fantasio on Opera Rara

CD (Operatic Recital): Anna Bonitatibus: Semiramide; La Signora Regale on deutsche harmonia mundi

Chorus: Welsh National Opera

DVD: Strauss’s Elektra on Bel Air Classiques

Festival: Bregenzer Festspiele

Lifetime Achievement: Speight Jenkins

Newcomer: Lotte de Beer

Philanthropist: Ann Ziff (Bill and Ann Ziff Foundation)

Rediscovered Work: Rossini’s Aureliano in Palmira at the Rossini Opera Festival

Richard Strauss Anniversary Production: Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Royal Opera House

World Premiere: Boesmans’s Au Monde at La Monnaie