SOPRANO AILYN PÉREZ was named today as the recipient of the Metropolitan Opera’s 11th Annual Beverly Sills Artist Award.
Given annually to a young singer between the ages of 25 and 40 who has already appeared in a feature role at the Met, the Sills Artist Award carries a $50,000 prize, making it the largest of its kind in the United States. Perez made her Met debut last season as Micaëla in performances of Carmen, and will sing her first Met Musettas in La Bohèmeperformances this month at the Met.
Given in honor of the late soprano Beverly Sills, the award was established in 2006 through an endowment gift from the late Agnes Varis, who served as a managing director on the Met board. Past recipients of the award include baritone Nathan Gunn, Joyce DiDonato, Matthew Polenzani, bass John Relyea, soprano Susanna Phillips, mezzo Isabel Leonard, soprano Angela Meade, tenor Bryan Hymel, tenor Michael Fabiano and baritone Quinn Kelsey.
“I am so deeply honored to receive this year’s Beverly Sills Artist Award, and also to have an artistic home at the Metropolitan Opera,” Pérez said in a statement issued today by the Met. “For me and so many others, Beverly Sills’s legacy is an inspiration. She presented the operatic voice as something we could be fascinated and awed by, and with her great sense of humor, she was ‘Bubbles,’ the diva we could all relate to. I also feel a great responsibility to be an active part of continuing that tradition, and to find innovative ways to engage new audiences through social media and working in our schools. Opera will survive and thrive if we embrace it as an important part of our collective culture.”
This summer the soprano will sing Juliette in Santa Fe Opera performances of Roméo et Juliette, and next season, Perez takes on the role of Tatiana in performances of Eugene Onegin at Dallas Opera in addition to singing the role of Mimì in Met performances of Bohème. Last month the Elk Grove Village, Illinois native sang the title role in performances of Massenet’s Manon at Dallas Opera, and in February she took on the role of the Countess in Figaroperformances at Houston Grand Opera. Earlier this season Perez created the role of Tatyana Bakst in Dallas Opera’s world premiere performances of Jake Heggie’s Great Scott.
© Opera News