Cat On A Hot Tin Roof claims Best Revival, Royal Opera House celebrates double win

Reporter: Matthew Amer, first published Sun 21 Mar 2010 21:27

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof has won the Best Revival Award, while the Royal Opera House has made a clean sweep of the Laurence Olivier opera categories, taking home Best New Opera Production with Nina Stemme winning Outstanding Achievement in Opera for her work with the company. Spring Awakening star Iwan Rheon has also been awarded the Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical or Entertainment Award.

Tennessee Williams’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama Cat On A Hot Tin Roof premiered on Broadway in 1955. The revival, which is currently playing at the Novello theatre, was staged on Broadway last year before transferring in November. The production stars James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Adrian Lester and Sanaa Lathan and is directed by Debbie Allen, who made her Broadway and West End directing debuts with the show. Telling the story of a Mississippi family, the production opened to critical acclaim with Earl Jones nominated in the Best Actor category earlier tonight, losing out to Mark Rylance.

Other nominees in the category were Arcadia, The Misanthrope, A Streetcar Named Desire, A View From The Bridge and Three Days Of Rain.

Presented by singer Russell Watson, Best New Opera Production was awarded to the Royal Opera House for Tristan Und Isolde, the theatre’s co-production with The Houston Grand Opera. Set to Wagner’s passionate score, director Christof Loy’s production was an unconventional and dramatic version of the classic opera, with visual metaphors replacing traditional staging. Starring Nina Stemme as Isolde and Ben Heppner as Tristan, the production was conducted by Antonia Pappano.

The Royal Opera House won three nominations in the category this year, along with the English National Opera’s Peter Grimes.

The Royal Opera House’s celebrations continued as Swedish soprano Nina Stemme was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Opera Award for her portrayal of Isolde in the production. Her first Laurence Olivier Award win, the opera singer triumphed over her fellow nominated performers Anja Kampe, Stuart Skelton and Michael Volle.