Classical Music Awards: Composition of the Year - The Ghosts of Versailles: Artists strike triumphant note on big awards night

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JOHN CORIGLIANO is the composer of this grand opera buffa, but in accepting the award was quick to praise his librettist, William M Hoffman. The work, commissioned by the Metropolitan in New York, is set in Marie Antoinette's private theatre in Versailles. It uses characters from Beaumarchais' La Mere Coupable - the third play in his Figaro trilogy. Fiction and the real world are brought together. The score, a dazzling deployment of modern techniques in approachable ways, uses a double orchestra and was the Met's first premiere for 25 years, produced by Colin Graham and conducted by James Levine.

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