Olivier Awards 2022: 
ROH celebrates 3 wins, and Jette Parker Artist Kseniia Nikolaieva performs the Ukrainian National Anthem  Best New Opera Production – Claus Guth’s Jenůfa
 Best Family Show – Wolf Witch Giant Fairy Outstanding Achievement in Opera – Peter Whelan and Irish Baroque Orchestra for Bajazet
Yesterday, on Sunday 10 April, the Royal Opera House was delighted to accept three Oliver Awards.  The event, held at the Royal Albert Hall, saw performances from all five Best New Musical Nominees – including Frozen, Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical and Moulin Rouge! The Musical  and included the Ukrainian National Anthem, sung on stage by mezzo-soprano Kseniia Nikolaieva, one of the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Artists, as a gesture of solidarity with her home country. Kseniia, speaking of her performance, said: ‘It was a real pleasure to perform at the Oliver Awards 2022. My hometown Kherson was one of the first major Ukrainian cities to be occupied by Russian troops, and so many of my relatives and friends remain there today. Every time I go on stage to sing our anthem, I feel a sense of deep pain at the suffering that my people are experiencing now, many without access to humanitarian aid. But I also feel both a great sense of pride – a gratitude to all those who fight for our freedom, and an unshakeable faith in our victory.’ Currently performing alongside Pretty Yende in La traviata, Kseniia trained at the Kherson Music School and the Ukrainian National Tchaikovsky Academy of Music. She joined the Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme in 2020, and has performed throughout the current Season at the Royal Opera House.

At the ceremony last night, the Royal Opera House were delighted to accept the following Olivier Awards: 
Best New Opera Production – Claus Guth’s Jenůfa
Best Family Show – Wolf Witch Giant Fairy
Outstanding Achievement in Opera – Peter Whelan and Irish Baroque Orchestra for Bajazet

Jenůfa director Claus Guth and conductor Henrik Nánási collected the award for Best New Opera Production presented by actor and director Fiona Shaw, paying tribute to the determination of the cast, orchestra and The Royal Opera team.  Oliver Mears, Director of the Royal Opera, said: ‘Postponed only days before it was due to open because of lockdown – Claus Guth’s wonderful production of Jenůfa was one of the early casualties of the pandemic. It’s thanks to the phenomenal hard work and dedication of the creative team, cast, and crew that we were able to open 18 months later. This award is an amazing testament to the resilience of our art form.’

Alex Scott and Clare Beresford of Little Bulb Theatre collected the award for Best Family Show presented by Floella BenjaminKate Wyatt and Sarah Crabtree, Creative Producers of the Linbury said:  ‘We are delighted that Wolf Witch Giant Fairy has been awarded Best Family Show. Every step of the journey, taken with our friends at Little Bulb Theatre, was a complete joy. We took a truly collaborative, exploratory approach, connecting opera and devised theatre, and working with the most dedicated and talented cast and company. The show, for which all performances were relaxed, reminded us of the importance of storytelling during challenging times and offered a gripping introduction to opera for all ages.’

Peter Whelan collected the award for Achievement in Opera for his performance with the Irish Baroque Orchestra in BajazetKate Wyatt and Sarah Crabtree, Creative Producers of the Linbury, said ‘We are thrilled that this celebration of Baroque music, and the exceptional talent of both Peter Whelan and the Irish Baroque Orchestra, has been recognised. It was a joy to collaborate with the orchestra in a co-production with Irish National Opera and bring a Vivaldi opera to our intimate Linbury Theatre for the first time.’