All of Butterfly's competitors in the category were also ENO productions: Britten's Billy Budd, directed by Neil Armfield; Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, directed by David McVicar; and Bernstein's musical On the Town, directed by Jude Kelly. New York's Metropolitan Opera recently announced that Minghella's Butterfly would open its 2006-07 season.
In the outstanding achievement in opera category, baritone Simon Keenlyside won for his lead performances in the ENO's Billy Budd and the Royal Opera's premiere of Lorin Maazel's 1984.
The winner for best new dance production went to Sylvia Guillem and Russell Maliphant's Push at Sadler's Wells.
Meanwhile, venerable German choreographer Pina Bausch was named winner for outstanding achievement in dance for Nelken and Palermo Palermo at Sadler's Wells.
For a complete list of 2006 Olivier winners for theater, visit Playbill.com.