Brian Irvine Receives Ivor Novello Award for 'Least Like the Other'

Brian Irvine at the 2023 Ivors Classical Awards in London (Photo: Ivor Novello Awards)

Brian Irvine Receives Ivor Novello Award for 'Least Like the Other'

Irish National Opera production exploring the life of Rosemary Kennedy wins Best Stage Work category.

Composer Brian Irvine has been awarded an Ivor Novello Classical Award for his opera Least Like The Other: Searching for Rosemary Kennedy. The award, in the Best Stage Work category, was presented during a ceremony at the British Film Institute in London on 14 November.

Irvine’s winning work was commissioned and produced by Irish National Opera, directed by Netia Jones, and premiered in 2019 at the Galway International Arts Festival. In 2021, a new version of the opera toured Ireland, and in January 2023, it received its UK premiere at the Royal Opera House in London. The production was also nominated for an Olivier Award this year.

Irvine, who is Co-Artistic Director of production company Dumbworld, received a second nomination in the Ivors this year for his work The Scorched Earth Trilogy – three street art operas with a libretto by John McIlduff, commissioned by Dumbworld and Irish National Opera. 

The Ivors Classical Awards celebrate new works by British, Irish or UK-resident composers. There were eleven categories in total. See the full list of 2023 winners below:

  • Best Chamber Ensemble Composition: Thomas Adès for Növények
  • Best Choral Composition: Ben Nobuto for Sol
  • Best Community and Participation Composition: Dobrinka Tabakova for Swarm Fanfares
  • Best Large Ensemble Composition: Hannah Kendall for shouting forever into the receiver
  • Best Orchestral Composition: Brett Dean for Cello Concerto
  • Best Small Chamber Composition: Josephine Stephenson for Comme l’espoir/you might all disappear
  • Best Sound Art: Olivia Louvel for LOL
  • Best Stage Work: Brian Irvine for Least Like the Other: Searching for Rosemary Kennedy
  • Academy Fellowship: John Rutter
  • Outstanding Works Collection: Tansy Davies
  • Innovation Award: Matthew Herbert

The awards ceremony was hosted by Hannah Peel and Tom Service and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 18 November in a special edition of the New Music Show. 

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Published on 15 November 2023

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