The Royal Opera was nominated in the Best New Opera Production category for its staging of Shostakovich's Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, directed by Richard Jones; and for Britten's Peter Grimes, directed by Willy Decker. A production of Rameu's Les Paladins at the Barbican, directed by Jos_ Montalvo and conducted by William Christie of Les Arts Florissants, was also nominated.
The Royal Opera swept the Outstanding Achievement in Opera category, with nominations for tenor Ben Heppner, who starred in Peter Grimes; John McFarlane for his designs for both Peter Grimes and Lady Macbeth; the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House for its performance over the entire season; and composer Thomas Ads and the company for the world premiere of Ads' The Tempest.
Four productions at Sadler's Wells were nominated for Best Dance Production. The Royal New Zealand Ballet, which visited the venue in April 2004, was nominated for Javier De Frutos' Milagros and Christopher Hampson's Romeo and Juliet. Northern Ballet Theatre was nominated for David Nixon's Midsummer Night's Dream; the Rambert Dance Company was nominated for Michael Clark's Swamp.
The Rambert Dance Company was also nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Dance for "the range and quality of new work" in its Sadler's Wells season. Other nominees in the category were Julien MacDonald for his costumes designs for the Richard Alston Dance Company's Shimmer at Sadler's Wells; the San Francisco Ballet, for its Sadler's Wells season; and the Royal Ballet, for its revival of Frederick Ashton's Sylvia.
The Society of London Theatre has presented annual awards since 1976; they were named after Olivier in 1984. This year's awards ceremony wll be held on February 20.
For information on the theater categories, read Playbill On-Line's article on the Olivier nominations.