Sir Antonio Pappano and “Innocence” Win at the 2024 Laurence Olivier Awards

15 Apr 2024

Sir Antonio Pappano received the 2024 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. He was honoured for his work as Music Director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Pappano also shares in the Best New Opera Production award for Simon Stone’s production of Kaija Saariaho’s Innocence at ROH alongside sopranos Sandrine Piau and Lilian Farahani who starred as The Mother-in-Law (Patricia) and The Bride (Stela) respectively.

The Olivier Awards, Britain’s most prestigious stage honours, were bestowed on Sunday, 14 April at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Hosted by multi-awards winning star of stage and screen, Hannah Waddingham, highlights of the ceremony will be available to stream on the Official London Theatre’s YouTube channel.

One of today’s most sought-after conductors, acclaimed for his charismatic leadership and inspirational performances in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Sir Antonio Pappano is Chief Conductor Designate of the London Symphony Orchestra (assuming the full title from the 2024/2025 season) and has been Music Director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden since 2002. He is Music Director Emeritus of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, having served as Music Director from 2005-2023.

Pappano is in demand as an opera conductor at the highest international level, including with the Metropolitan Opera New York, the State Operas of Vienna and Berlin, the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Teatro alla Scala, and has appeared as a guest conductor with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio, Chicago and Boston Symphonies, the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and the Orchestre de Paris. He maintains a particularly strong relationship with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

A renowned figure in the world of baroque music, French soprano Sandrine Piau regularly performs with celebrated conductors such as William Christie, Philippe Herreweghe, Christophe Rousset, Gustav Lleonhardt, Ivor Bolton, Ton Koopman, René Jacobs, Marc Minkowski and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Sandrine Piau embraces different roles on international stages. The roles she has previously performed include Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Morgana (Alcina) at the Opéra de Paris, Dalinda (Ariodante) at the Salzburg Festival, Alcina, Mélisande, Sandrina, (La Finta Giardiniera), Sœur Constance (Dialogue des Carmélites) at la Monnaie, Alcina and Dalinda (Ariodante) in Amsterdam, Pamina (Die Zauberflöte), Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) and Sœur Constance at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and Despina (Cosi fan tutte) and Titania (A Midsummer Night’s Dream) at the Festival d’Aix en Provence.

Dutch-Iranian soprano Lilian Farahani graduated cum laude with distinction from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and the Dutch National Opera Academy in Amsterdam. In addition to this award-winning performance, she has portrayed “The Bride” with San Francisco Opera, Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Amsterdam Opera House.

In previous seasons, she sang Zerlina (Don Giovanni) with Dutch National Opera, Elvira (L’italiana in Algeri) with the NTR ZaterdagMatinee and she could be heard in Aalto-Musiktheater Essen in the role of Lauretta (Gianni Schicchi). Orchestral highlights include her debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under the baton of Gianandrea Noseda.

Photo credits: Sir Antonio Pappano – ; Sandrine Piau – Sandrine Expilly; Lilian Farahani – Maurice Lammerts van Bueren