About us

Mission

The Onegin National Opera Awards were created to popularize Russian opera, to define guidelines for excellence in the development of modern Russian operatic theatre, and to spotlight the leading performers of our times. 

The idea behind the creation of this Award comes from the founder of the Awards, Honored Artist of Russia Igor Tarasov. Ljuba Glazkova, CEO of a non-profit Russian Opera Company is also a co-founder.

The legendary Russian baritone, recipient of the prestigious State Award of the former Soviet Union, National Artist of the USSR Sergei Leiferkus was chosen to be the president of the Onegin National Opera Awards.

Before 2016, even though Russia had more than 40 opera theatres, there was no opera award on a nationwide scope to give recognition to the community of professionals on one hand, nor on the other hand to provide any sort of expert opinion regarding quality in this sphere. An award that could help opera goers, admirers and enthusiasts to broaden their understanding of the current state of Russian operatic theatre with its wide geography - from Vladivostok to Vladikavkaz, from Krasnodar to Yakutsk.

The absence of such an award was even more unusual taking into consideration the many awards in other areas of theatre in Russia which take place annually. They celebrate the continuation of mastery in the arts as well as emerging young talent. Award winning films and plays are guaranteed box office success as well as increased attention from audiences and critics alike. Award winning actors, dancers, directors, choreographers become recognized and sought after in their respective professional areas.

For this reason, it’s no surprise that despite the short registration period, more than 24 opera theatres, festivals and other projects submitted their applications for the Onegin Award in 2016. This eager response has solidified the necessity of such an award.

Every year the Onegin is supported by the St. Petersburg Committee for Culture, Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation, Presidential Executive Office, philanthropists, sponsors, and other commercial partners.

The Award ceremony is held every autumn in Saint-Petersburg. Not only does it include the ceremony itself, but also charity events and concerts in the days preceding it.

History

2016

First Annual Onegin National Opera Award Ceremony, 2016

November 26th - 27th

Saint Petersburg November 26th - 27th

Alexandrinsky Theatre November 27th

The Grand Hall of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic November 26th

The first Onegin National Opera Award ceremony was held on November 27th, 2016 in the Alexandrinsky Theatre under the auspices of the Fifth Annual Saint Petersburg International Culture Forum and with the support of the Saint Petersburg Cultural Committee.

The expert panel and jury of the Awards, consisting of some of the most respected and influential members of the Russian opera community, decided on the winners in 12 different categories. The President of the Onegin National Opera Awards Sergei Leiferkus was chosen to be the Chairman of the jury for the Award.

Prizes went to six different cities including Astrakhan, Ufa, Voronezh, Vladikavkaz, and Moscow while some stayed in Saint Petersburg. The great Soviet and Russian tenor, National Artist of the USSR Vladimir Atlantov, was the recipient of the Legend Award.

From the first Awards event, many regional and federal TV channels, print and online publications took an interest in the Award. Of course, an event of such a scale couldn't be possible without great support from the important figures in Russian culture, help from our partners and sponsors.

As a part of the award ceremony, a concert featuring the famous Russian tenor Vladimir Galuzin and Nataliya Timchenko took place on November 26th in The Grand Hall of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic.

2017

Second Annual Onegin National Opera Award Ceremony, 2017

Saint Petersburg, October 26th - 29th 2017

Alexandrinsky Theatre, October 29th

Hotel Astoria, October 28th

Stars of the opera scene from Russia and all around the world gathered in Saint Petersburg in October 2017. José Cura, Inva Mula, Fabio Armiliato, Vasily Gerello, Alexey Tikhomirov, Anna Nechaeva, Alexey Tatarintsev and many more among the opera elite accompanied by the Northern Sinfonia Orchestra conducted by Fabio Mastrangelo took to the stage of the Alexandrinsky Theatre on October 29th as part of the Second Onegin National Opera Awards gala concert. The ceremony was hosted by Irina Tushintceva and Julian Makarov.

The expert panel and jury of the Awards, consisting of some of the most respected and influential members of the opera community, awarded winners in 13 different categories. The President of the Onegin National Opera Awards Sergei Leiferkus was chosen to be the Chairman of the jury for the Awards.

In addition to the gala concert, the Onegin Awards also featured master classes, round tables and a charity event aimed at supporting opera singers in difficult life situations held at the Astoria Hotel on October 28th. World-renowned figures in opera, politics, and culture gathered for the charity auction. Special lots were prepared by famous opera, business and cultural figures - Anna Netrebko, Sergei Leiferkus, Inva Mula, José Cura, Ekaterina Rozhdestvenskaya, Georgy Gens and many more.

2018

Third Annual Onegin National Opera Award Ceremony, 2018

Saint Petersburg, November 16th - 17th

Mikhailovsky Theatre, November 16th

Ambassador Hotel, November 17th

The third Onegin National Opera Awards ceremony took place on November 16th in Saint Petersburg inside the famed Mikhailovsky Theatre. Both the ceremony and the gala concert by the leading names in modern opera were performed in front of a sold-out crowd. That year the Onegin Awards received a record-breaking amount of applications —almost 80 singers from 32 different regions of Russia.

The expert panel and jury of the Awards, consisting of some of the most respected and influential members of the opera community, voted for winners in 13 different categories. The President of the Onegin National Opera Awards Sergei Leiferkus was once again chosen to be the Chairman of the jury for the Awards.

Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Vladimir Medinsky, Chief of the Presidential Directorate for Social Projects Sergei Novikov, Saint Petersburg Culture Committee Chairman Konstantine Suhenko, and Bolshoi Theatre CEO Vladimir Urin were all in attendance at the ceremony.

Recipients were congratulated by stars of the Russian and world opera scene, including outstanding Italian masters: the legendary Ruggero Raimondi and Grammy Award winner Patrizia Ciofi. The Onegin National Opera Awards gala concert included performances by opera stars from world’s finest theatres: Ekaterina Gubanova, Olga Peretyatko, Dmitry Ulyanov, Sergey Murzaev, Liparit Avetisyan, and Veronika Dzhioeva, among other participants and Award recipients from previous years performing alongside Mikhailovsky Theatre lead singers accompanied by the Mikhailovsky Theatre orchestra conducted by Fabio Mastrangelo. The ceremony was hosted by Sati Spivakova and Julian Makarov.

A charity event was held on November 17th at the Ambassador Hotel. World-renowned figures in opera, politics, and culture gathered for a charity auction. Special lots were prepared by famous opera, business, and cultural figures.

2019

Fourth Annual Onegin National Opera Award Ceremony, 2019

Saint Petersburg, November 30th – December 17th

House of an actor named after K.S. Stanislavsky, November 30th

Grand Hotel Europe, November 30th

Mikhailovsky Theatre, December 1st

The Grand Hall of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic, December 2nd

 

The fourth Onegin National Opera Awards ceremony was held on December 1st in Saint Petersburg at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. The ceremony was preceded by special events of the award such as the discussion club "Onegin" with the participation of artists, theatre managers and managers in the House of the Actor named after K.S. Stanislavsky, dedicated to vocal pedagogy and a Charity gala dinner "Onegin" in the Grand Hotel "Europe" in support of opera singers in difficult circumstances.

 Representatives of more than 20 Russian theaters, Russian and world opera stars met at the ceremony at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. The winner of the Onegin Award in the special non-competitive category "From Russia with love" this year was the star of the world opera Angela Georgiou. The ceremony was attended by Sergey Skorokhodov, Polina Shamaeva, Alexey Tatarintsev, Yulia Matochkina, Svetlana Moskalenko, Boris Pinkhasovich, Olesya Petrova and the President of the Onegin Award, the Chairman of the jury - People's Artist of the Russian Federation, winner of the USSR State Prize Sergey Leiferkus.

 The ceremony was accompanied by the Mikhailovsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Vedernikov.

 The ceremony was hosted by Sati Spivakova and Fyodor Bondarchuk.

A large-scale musical event of the ONEGIN-GALA Award, dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the creative activity of the President of the Onegin Award, Sergei Petrovich Leiferkus was held on December 2nd in The Grand Hall of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic together with the National Opera Center. The opera "Mozart and Salieri" by N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov was performed in the first part. The main roles were performed by Dmitry Korchak (Mozart) and the hero of the day Sergey Leiferkus (Salieri). Famous soloists, laureates and nominees of the award performed in the second part. Among them were Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, Oksana Shilova, Ivan Ozhogin, Zoya Cererina, Viktor Krivonos, Natalia Savchenko, Guriy Guryev. The evening was held with the participation of the Leningrad Region Symphony Orchestra "Tavrichesky", art director and chief conductor of the orchestra Mikhail Golikov.

2020

May 17th - PROJECT #VINCERO! - APPEALS FROM MUSICIANS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD #NOCORONA!

Our friends and colleagues Robi Lakatos, Joseph Calleja, Alexey Kosarev, Jesus Leon, Fabio Armiliato sent musical messages to support each other in difficult times of COVID-19 for posting on the award's resources.

Fifth Annual Onegin National Opera Award Ceremony, 2020

Saint Petersburg, August 28th – November 13th

 The premiere of the let’s play opera “The Miserly Knight”, August 28th

The Grand Hall of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic, November 9th

Mikhailovsky Theatre, November 13th

 

The fifth-anniversary ceremony of the National Opera Award "Onegin" was held on a difficult year, coinciding with the COVID-19 global pandemic, which affected all spheres of human life. Despite quarantine restrictions, theater closures, and unemployment, opera life in Russia has not stopped. On the contrary, new ideas and forms of creative life have appeared in the new realities. In 2020, the Award Directorate established a new category - "Best Online Project". Seven Russian opera events shown to the audience on the Internet applied for this category.

One of the most striking events was the premiere of the let's play opera "The Miserly Knight" by S. V. Rachmaninoff in an online performance directed by Dmitry Otyakovsky. The premiere took place on VKontakte, a Russian online social media and social networking service, on August 28, 2020. The online premiere was watched by more than 100 thousand people - no theater in the world could accommodate such a large audience! Many stars of the opera stage took part in the production of "The Miserly Knight". Among them: People's Artist of the Russian Federation, winner of the State Prize of the USSR Sergey Leiferkus; Onegin Award nominee, soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre Roman Arndt; Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, soloist of the Moscow Musical Theatre named by K. S. Stanislavsky and V. I. Nemirovich-Danchenko, winner of the Onegin Prize Andrey Baturkin; soloist of the Bolshoi Theatre Leonid Bomstein; soloist of the Academy of Young Singers of the Mariinsky Theatre Denis Begansky. The orchestra part was performed by the Leningrad Region Symphony Orchestra "Tavrichesky" conducted by Mikhail Golikov. The combination of the virtuoso performance skills of famous opera stars with a witty script and innovative direction did not remain even the most conservative opera lovers indifferent.

The temporary lifting of quarantine restrictions in the autumn of 2020 allowed the Award events to be held not online, but traditionally in the auditorium. The concert "World Stars of Russian Opera: Moscow vs St. Petersburg" was held on November 9th in the Grand Hall of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic with the participation of the leading soloists of the Mariinsky Theatre (Yulia Matochkina, Elena Stikhina, Vladislav Sulimsky) and the Bolshoi Theatre (Anna Aglatova, Alexey Tikhomirov, Oleg Dolgov). Mikhail Tatarnikov conducted the St. Petersburg State Academic Symphony Orchestra that evening.

Grand Hotel "Europe" hosted the presentation of the book by the actress and TV presenter Sati Spivakova "Neskuchnaya Classica" on November 12th, which was the subject of great interest among fans of opera and classical music.

The fifth Onegin National Opera Awards ceremony took place on November 13th in Saint Petersburg at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. Despite all the challenges of 2020, the main Russian opera award with 9 competitive and 8 special nominations was presented in the presence of the audience and accompanied by the Mikhailovsky Theatre Orchestra conducted by Dmitry Yurovsky. The People's Artist of Russia and Georgia, the singer, teacher and music director Makvala Kasrashvili, who was awarded state prizes of both countries and was rightly called a legend. The Expert Council and the jury of the Award decided to honor the memory of the untimely conductor Alexander Vedernikov with the nomination "Recognition". Honored Artist of the Russian Federation, chief conductor of the Mikhailovsky Theatre, Alexander Alexandrovich Vedernikov passed away on October 30th, 2020 at the age of 57 from complications caused by a coronavirus infection.

The ceremony was attended by world-famous Russian performers: Elena Stikhina, Venera Gimadieva, Vasily Ladyuk, Dmitry Ulyanov, Olesya Petrova, Svetlana Moskalenko, Bogdan Volkov. The evening was hosted by Sati Spivakova and Alexander Malich.