In a shamelessly upbeat virtual celebration of achievement in theatre, dance and opera, the 41st Dora Mavor Moore Awards were announced this evening on YouTube hosted by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts. Rowdy, unendingly brave and optimistic, the breathless pre-recorded 60-minute salute to on-stage excellence looked back on what seems from today’s grim perspective of COVID-inspired cancellations like a glorious golden age. Winners in the Opera Division were, for the most part, expected.

In the category of Outstanding Production, the Canadian Opera Company’s glowing 2019 Rusalka was justifiably singled out for praise with well-deserved personal nods to David McVicar for Outstanding Direction, Johannes Debus for Outstanding Musical Direction and lighting designer David Finn for Outstanding Achievement in Design.

The award for Outstanding New Opera, claimed by co-producers Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon, went to librettist Yvette Nolan and composer Dean Burry for their movingly authentic Indigenous-voiced tragedy, Shanawdithit.

The Dora for Outstanding Performance by an Individual was won by Marnie Breckenridge for her tirelessly commanding appearance as a devastated and devastating Jacqueline du Pré in Tapestry Opera’s masterful chamber work, Jacqueline.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble was won by the company of Two Odysseys: Pimooteewin/Gállábártnit, an entirely original Indigenous double-bill written in the languages of Cree and Sámi.

Congratulations to all winners and nominees.