Boston Lyric Opera’s ‘Svadba’ Wins Top Opera America Prize for Digital Excellence

By Francisco Salazar

Opera America revealed the 2023 awards for Digital Excellence in Opera.

The winners included Boston Lyric Opera’s film “Svadba,” has won the top prize for Artistic Creation in Opera America’s 2023 Digital Excellence in Opera Awards. “Svadba,” which is available for free on BLO’s YouTube page, was adapted from Serbian composer Ana Sokolović’s striking libretto and a cappella score. The film combines the power of the unadorned human voice with the visual beauty of a dreamy oceanside cottage, where six women celebrate the eve of a wedding and all its ritual, emotion, fun and reflection.

The film was directed by Shura Baryshnikov with a screenplay by Hannah Shepard. Serbian-born Daniela Candillari conducted the music and the Artists providing vocals and musical accompaniment included Chabrelle D. Williams singing the role of Milica,  Brianna J. Robinson as Lena the elder, Maggie Finnegan as Danica, Mack Wolz as Zora, Vera Savage as Nada, and Hannah Ludwig as Ljubica.

“In Song,” prodced by Lumahai Productions, San Francisco Opera, Matthew Shilvock, Elena Park, Gregory Henkel, Nicole Potter, and Molly McBride was the recipient of the “Education / Enrichment Materials category, while “Opera [In Place],” by Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, Cleveland Opera Theater, and On Site Opera, won the University / Conservatory Projects category. The Noteworthy Projects awards went to “Jess,” produced by Rebecca Gray and Rachel Gray, “Whiteness: Part One,” produced by Paul Pinto, Kameron Neal, and CultureHub.

The winners were selected from amongst 16 finalists and over 70 submissions.