Thursday, April 12, 2012

2012 Richard Tucker Award announced

A hearty congratulations to soprano Ailyn Pérez who is the recipient of the 2012 Richard Tucker Award!

What follows is information that was provided to Yours Truly regarding the win.

The Richard Tucker Music Foundation is pleased to announce that lyric soprano Ailyn Pérez is the winner of the 2012 Richard Tucker Award. This prestigious prize, which has been referred to as “the Heisman Trophy of opera,” carries the foundation’s most substantial cash award, of $30,000, and is conferred annually on an American opera singer at the threshold of a major international career. Previous winners include such luminaries of the opera world as Renée Fleming, Deborah Voigt, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee and Angela Meade. The 2009 Richard Tucker Award went to Pérez’s husband and frequent collaborator, tenor Stephen Costello, so her award renders the couple dubbed “America’s fastest-rising husband-and-wife opera stars” (Associated Press) the first to have two Richard Tucker Awards on the mantelpiece – one for each. Furthermore, Pérez is the first Hispanic singer to receive the award in its 34-year history.

Born in Chicago, Illinios to first-generation Mexican immigrants, Ms. Pérez earned degrees in vocal performance from Indiana University and Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts, where she met her now husband, Stephen Costello.

Her recent highlights include debuts at the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, Vienna State Opera, and Milan’s Teatro alla Scala; the title role of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette for Opera Company of Philadelphia opposite Mr. Costello, and Marguerite in Mr. Costello's Faust at San Diego Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Hamburg State Opera; Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the Dallas Opera, Countess Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro at the Ravinia Festival, and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with the Deutsche Staatsoper; the title role in Massenet’s Manon for Palau de les Arts in Valencia; Puccini’s Mimì at Cincinnati Opera; and her role debut as Leila in Bizet’s Pearl Fishers with the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Chile.

The Costellos for LA Opera's La Boheme - by Adam Leigh-Manuell
In the coming months, you can catch her starring opposite Mr. Costello in three leading roles: Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème at Los Angeles Opera; Violetta – as whom she proved “ideal” (Observer) and “an unalloyed triumph” (Guardian) at London’s Royal Opera House – in Verdi’s La traviata at Cincinnati Opera; and Suzel in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz at the Moscow State Philharmonic Society.

Mrs. Costello's Ms. Pérez’s high-profile gala appearances include collaborations with Plácido Domingo and Jose Carreras.

Barry Tucker, President of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, said:
"We are thrilled to be giving the Richard Tucker Award to Ailyn Pérez, a wonderful young soprano who sings with incredible beauty and heart. I first heard Ailyn singing La traviata at our auditions and was really impressed and moved, and I got to know her much better when Stephen Costello, her husband, won the Richard Tucker Award three years ago. I told him then how lucky he was to have such a lovely and talented wife, and we are so happy to be able to recognize her in her own right today. I know she will make the Richard Tucker Foundation proud.”
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Do any of you have the same quizzical look on your face as I do?

Wow. I hope Stephen Costello sends a huge muffin basket over to the Tucker Foundation for all of the press he's getting surrounding his wife's 2012 Richard Tucker Award win.

Anyway, in addition to Mrs. Costello Ms. Pérez, the Foundation also announced that nine other young American artists have been awarded study and career grants. 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grants of $10,000 each go to soprano Jennifer Rowley, mezzo-sopranos Jennifer Johnson Cano and Jamie Barton, and baritone Nicholas Pallesen, all of whom have already won recognition in their advancing careers. 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grants of $5,000 apiece go to five young singers displaying great promise at the start of their professional careers: mezzo-sopranos J’nai Bridges and Margaret Mezzacappa, bass-baritone Brandon Cedel, baritone Mark Diamond, and bass Scott Conner.

All scoffing aside: sincere congratulations to Ms. Pérez - as well as the other winners. This is truly a fantastic honor for them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for making me laugh in the best way! Loved your post! Ailyn

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