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Michael Spyres, shown at an SBJ event last month, is named Male Singer of the Year at the International Opera Awards.
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Michael Spyres, shown at an SBJ event last month, is named Male Singer of the Year at the International Opera Awards.

Ozarks Lyric Opera artistic director wins international award

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The artistic director of Springfield-based Ozarks Lyric Opera has been recognized on the international stage.

Michael Spyres, who is an opera singer in addition to his role at the Springfield organization, was named Male Singer of the Year at the Nov. 9 International Opera Awards in Warsaw, Poland. Judging for the awards is conducted by a jury of industry professionals headed by Opera Magazine editor John Allison, according to the award website.

Spyres, who was not present at the event, accepted the award with a video message.

"I love opera more than most. One of the reasons that I love opera is because of the community involvement that it is," he said in the video. "Opera can change the world, and we have a bright future ahead of us."

The Male Singer of the Year finalists were Mika Kares, of Finland, Tomasz Konieczny of Poland, Luca Salsi of Italy, Ryan Speedo Green of the United States and Michael Volle of Germany.

A documentary on Spyres' career, called "An OverKnight Success: The Crazy Life of an Opera Singer," is scheduled to debut in March at the Gillioz Theatre, according to past reporting. "OverKnight Success" pays homage to the fact that Spyres received the honor of Knighthood of the Arts and Letters from the French government in 2021.

As artistic director for Ozarks Lyric Opera, he helps lead an organization that has a current operating budget of around $260,000, with a goal of increasing that annual figure to $1 million, Springfield Business Journal previously reported.

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