October 1, 2010 / 5:24 PM / 9 years ago

Soprano star DiDonato wins 2 Gramophone awards

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato scooped two prizes at the annual Gramophone Awards in London on Friday, including artist of the year and the recital category for her rendition of Rossini’s “Colbran, the Muse.”

“I have the greatest fans in the universe!” DiDonato wrote on her Twitter page after the awards were announced. “Thank you all for all the votes and support. Truly, I am humbled and deeply touched! Wow.”

The singer won plaudits for courage as well as her voice last year when she broke her leg during a performance of “The Barber of Seville” at the Royal Opera House and continued her performance. DiDonato completed the run in a wheelchair.

She beat other stars including Placido Domingo and Lang Lang in an online public vote for artist of the year, and classical music magazine Gramophone praised her for “being able to throw herself entirely into a role with all guns blazing.”

The surprise winner of the most coveted recording of the year award was little known English vocal ensemble The Cardinall’s Musick, which saw off competition from some of the world’s most celebrated conductors, singers and opera companies.

The ensemble won the prize, chosen by a panel of experts from 16 category winners, for its recording of William Byrd’s “Infelix Ego.” It was only the second time in the awards’ 34-year history that an early music release won the top prize.

Among the other winners on Friday were Austrian pianist Alfred Brendel, who received a lifetime achievement award, Dutch musician Andre Rieu (specialist classical chart award) and Argentine cellist Sol Gabetta (young artist of the year).

Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Patricia Reaney

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