City types swap offers for opera at glitzy awards

Gabriella Griffith
“I LEFT my glasses in the taxi on the way here,” said Sanlam Private Investors’ UK boss Craig Massey, as he stepped towards the autocue at the International Opera Awards (which his company sponsors) last night. “But I’ll try avoid the faux pas I made last year – like mentioning Maria Callas and Katherine Jenkins in the same breath.”

Two worlds collided last night, as City names filled The Great Room of Grosvenor Park. Set up by ex-PwC man and Primary Health Properties founder Harry Hyman, the International Opera Awards are in their second year and Hyman has become a big connector between the City and the world of Madama Butterfly. “I guess that’s my role in making this come about,” he told The Capitalist. “But people love opera and you’ve got to keep opera going when the going gets tough.”

The awards (dubbed the Toscas) not only celebrate the good and the great of opera but also support the next generation of performers. Let’s hope some of them are Godunov to win the awards of future years...