Film and stage star Sigourney Weaver and mezzo Susan Graham will host the 2007 Opera News Awards event, a gala reception and dinner at the Hotel Pierre in New York City on Thursday, January 24, 2008. Graham herself was a winner of the inaugural set of awards in 2005.
One of last year's winners, soprano Deborah Voigt, will present Hampson with his award; Tony-winning theater director Jack O'Brien will present honors to Blythe, whom he directed in last season's acclaimed Puccini Trittico at the Metropolitan Opera. Veteran Sherrill Milnes will pay tribute to Rudel, with whom he worked frequently during the conductor's long and eventful tenure (1957-79) as principal conductor and general director of New York City Opera. Price will receive her award from another fabled name of the 1960s and '70s, pianist Van Cliburn.
Launched in 2005, the Opera News Awards — the only awards in the United States given specifically for opera — are presented by the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Opera News magazine (published by the Guild) to recognize distinguished contributions to the art form.