Thursday, 15 November 2012

Domingo awarded Staatsoper Ehrenring

The Ring of Honour is the highest decoration the house bestows and last went to Waltraud Meier in 2011* veteran Philharmoniker cellist Franz Bartolomey in June (now I remember). The ritual for this is to act surprised when ambushed with the award at the end of a performance, in Domingo’s case last night’s Simon Boccanegra, though he knows Austrian politics well enough to be genuinely astonished at the rare sighting of culture minister Claudia Schmied in an actual place of culture. Quite what prestige the Ehrenring retains is debatable, after Ioan Holender awarded it to himself in 2004.

*Meier was actually awarded the Lotte Lehmann memorial ring, a somewhat rarer honour, previously held only by Leonie Rysanek and Hildegard Behrens. On death, this ring passes to a female singer of the holder’s choice; Meier was named by Behrens. 

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