Audra McDonald and Imelda Staunton Named Honorary Members of Royal Academy of Music

London News   Audra McDonald and Imelda Staunton Named Honorary Members of Royal Academy of Music
 
Both artists are also nominated at the 2018 Olivier Awards.
Audra McDonald and Imelda Staunton
Audra McDonald and Imelda Staunton

Theatre titans Audra McDonald and Imelda Staunton are among the artists named 2018 honorary members of the Royal Academy of Music.

Both McDonald and Staunton were also recently nominated for Olivier Awards; McDonald is nominated for her turn in the title role of Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill (a performance that won McDonald her sixth Tony Award in 2014), while four-time Olivier winner Staunton is nominated for her performances in both Follies and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.

Hugh Laurie, known for his eight-year run playing the title role on TV's House, was also named an honorary member of the Academy.

Stephen Ashfield, currently Elder McKinley in Broadway's The Book of Mormon, was named a Fellow of the Academy, a designation reserved for former Academy students who have gone on to distinguish themselves within their profession. Ashfield came to Broadway after playing the same role in Book of Mormon's London production, having previously appeared in West End productions of Taboo, Fame, Legally Blonde, and Jersey Boys.

This year's newly-inducted Associates of the Royal Academy of Music—also for former Academy students—included West End veterans Christine Allado (Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds in Hamilton), Bob Broad (Everybody's Talking About Jamie), Kate Marlais (resident composer to producer Cameron Mackintosh), Laura Tebbutt (Fruma Sarah in a recent Fiddler on the Roof revival), and Alex Young (Follies at The National Theatre).

The Royal Academy of Music, the oldest conservatory in the U.K., publishes an annual list of honorees that include both alumni and people who are not former students. Levels of honor for alumni include Fellow and Associate, while distinguished musicians who are not former students of the Academy can be named Honorary Members, Honorary Associates, and Honorary Fellows. The Academy also can nominate honorees for an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of London. Past recipients of this top honor include Pierre Boulez, Elton John, and Stephen Sondheim.

For a complete list of this year's honorees, click here.

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