Ailyn Pérez has been named the winner of the 2012 Richard Tucker Award by the board of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
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.