Named by Opera News as “one of opera’s next wave” (August 2012), soprano Ailyn Pérez, winner of the 2012 Richard Tucker Award, has been praised for her dazzling vocalism and her alluring and committed stage presence, making her one of the most engaging and exciting artists before the public today.
The soprano begins her 2012-13 season with her house debut at the Bolshoi in Moscow, performing Mimi in La bohème. Her season also includes two runs at Hamburg’s Staatsoper, first as the Countess in Mozart’s le Nozze di Figaro and then in the title role of a new production of Verdi’s timeless classicLa Traviata. Returning to the US, Pérez makes her Avery Fisher Hall debut when she performs at the Richard Tucker Foundation Gala, which honors her as this year’s Richard Tucker Award winner. Her 2012-13 season also includes performances as Mimì at Florida Grand Opera, a New Year’s Eve gala concert in Toronto, and her return to the prestigious Wiener Staatsoper to sing Adina in L’elisir d’amore opposite her husband, tenor Stephen Costello.
Last season was highlighted by Pérez’s historic win of the Richard Tucker Award, conferred annually on an American opera singer at the threshold of a major international career. She is the first Hispanic artist to win the prestigious prize in its 34-year history. In addition to her Tucker Award win, Pérez’s 2011-12 season included highly-praised performances as Violetta in La Traviata at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in November, a role that she reprised in January, again at the Royal Opera, in a one-night-only performance with her husband, tenor Stephen Costello. The Observer wrote, “The bewitching young American soprano puts her heart into every twist of the drama, from the impetuousness of her love for Alfredo…to the febrile emergency of her death…her performance was glorious, the quiet passages magical.”
Last season also included performances as Suzel in L’amico Fritz (Moscow), Mimì in La bohème (Zurich, Los Angeles), Violetta in La traviata and Marguerite in Faust (both at Hamburg Staatsoper), as well as concerts with José Carreras in Portugal and the US and a performance of Mozart’s Requiem conducted by Antonio Pappano (Accademia di Santa Cecilia, Rome). She also sang Gilda alongside Plácido Domingo in Act 3 of Rigoletto for the Domingo Gala concerts at the Royal Opera House (October 2011), appeared as Mimì in La bohème in a concert performance at Salzburg Festival, and gave acclaimed performances as Violetta in La traviata(Cincinnati) and Pamina in Die Zauberflőte (Ravinia).
Pérez’s made her debut at the Ravinia Festival as the Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro in 2010, conducted by James Conlon, after which she journeyed to Tokyo and Yokohama with The Royal Opera House Covent Garden’s Japan tour, for which they presented Manon and La traviata (September). A pair of company debuts followed: at the Dallas Opera as Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and in Spain at Valencia’s Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, where she sang the title role in Manon with Vittorio Grigolo as her Chevalier, conducted by Lorin Maazel. She has performed as the Juliette to her husband’s Romeo in the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s production of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette Marguerite in Faust at the San Diego Opera, and appeared at the Santa Fe Opera.
Ms. Pérez sang three diverse roles at Berlin’s Staatsoper Unter den Linden in 2009: Pamina in Die Zauberflötefor her house debut, Violetta in La traviata, and Amelia Grimaldi in Simon Boccanegra. That same season, she appeared as Léïla in Les pêcheurs de perles (Teatro Municipal de Santiago); sang Violetta for her company debuts with the Vienna Staatsoper and Hamburg Staatsoper; made her company debut at the world-famous Teatro alla Scala as Amelia in Simon Boccanegra; and performed Mimì in La bohème at Cincinnati Opera. Additionally, she performed at London’s Rosenblatt Recitals, the German AIDS Foundation in Berlin, and gave performances with Plácido Domingo in Baku, Azerbaijan and with José Carreras in São Paulo.
Other notable engagements have included: Amelia in Simon Boccanegra (Opernhaus Zurich); Violetta in La traviata (San Francisco and Florida Grand Operas); Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi (Opera Company of Philadelphia); Juliette (Salzburger Festspiele); Marzelline in Fidelio (Philadelphia); the Four Heroines in The Tales of Hoffmann (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis); the Contessa (Salzburger Festspiele on tour in Japan); and Adina in L’elisir d’amore (Michigan Opera Theater). In concert Ms. Pérez has performed Schubert’s Mass No. 5with the Netherlands Radio Symphony and concert tours with Plácido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli. In San Francisco, Pérez sang Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress while a member of the Merola Opera Program and gave a recital in the Schwabacher Debut Recital Series. She has performed with Wolf Trap Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Ailyn Pérez is a graduate of The Academy of Vocal Arts Philadelphia and Indiana University. She is a recipient of the George London Foundation’s Leonie Rysanek Award, a 2007 winner of a Shoshana Foundation Career Grant, placed second in the 2006 Plácido Domingo Operalia Competition, and was previously lauded by the Loren L. Zachary Foundation, Opera Index and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation.