AMERICAN SOPRANO LISETTE OROPESA has been named as the winner of the 2019 Richard Tucker Award.
The award, announced this morning by the foundation bearing the Brooklyn-born tenor’s name, is one of the most prestigious prizes in opera and is given annually to an American singer on “the threshold of a significant international career.” The award carries a cash prize of $50,000 and, on Sunday, October 27, Oropesa will be featured at the foundation’s gala concert at Carnegie Hall. Past winners of the award have included Stephanie Blythe, Lawrence Brownlee, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Matthew Polenzani and Deborah Voigt. In 2007, Oropesa previously received the foundation’s Sara Tucker Study Grant, and, two years later, the soprano was bestowed a Richard Tucker Career Grant.
“I am extremely appreciative of the tremendous honor from the Tucker Foundation,” said Oropesa, who is currently in Brussels, where she is singing the role of Isabelle in La Monnaie performances of Meyerbeer’s Robert le Diable. “I can’t wait to join my friends and colleagues at the annual Tucker Foundation gala in New York this year. It is a very special event that I feel privileged to be a part of.”
A native of Baton Rouge, Oropesa graduated from the LSU School of Music and Louisiana State University and, following a win at the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions in 2005, went on to take part in the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann young Artist Program. Oropesa made her professional debut in a principal role in October 2007 Met performances of Figaro where she sang Susanna, and, since then, the soprano has sung more than one-hundred performances at the company in roles that have included Gilda, the Dew Fairy in Hänsel und Gretel, Lisette in La Rondine, Woglinde in Das Rheingold, Amore in Orfeo ed Euridice, Nannetta in Falstaff and Sophie in Werther. Next season, the soprano will take on two leading roles with at the Met: she will sing the titular heroine in a revival of the Met’s production of Manon as well as the role of Violetta in performances of the company’s production of La Traviata.
Oropesa has also appeared at American companies that include San Francisco Opera, LA Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Washington National Opera; in Europe, she has performed with the Royal Opera, Glyndebourne, Welsh National Opera, Paris Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Teatro Real Madrid and Netherlands Opera in Europe. This season at Paris Opera Oropesa has sung the roles of Adina in Elisir d’Amore and Marguerite de Valois in Les Huguenots. She also sang Gilda in a new Rome Opera Rigoletto and took on the lead role in Rodelinda performances at Barcelona’s Liceu. After Robert le Diable, she will travel to Milan for La Scala’s a new production of I Masnadieri.
In addition to the announcement of the Tucker Award, the Tucker Foundation announced that it had also given study and career grants to ten additional young American artists. Richard Tucker Career Grants of $10,000 each were awarded to sopranos Gabriella Reyes and Laura Wilde along with baritone Will Liverman; and Sara Tucker Study Grants of $5,000 were given to six young artists just beginning their professional careers: sopranos Mathilda Edge, Jessica Faselt, and Alexandria Shiner; mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker; and tenors Miles Mykkanen and Richard Trey Smagur.