Sunday, October 22, 2017

Soprano Nadine Sierra wins 2017 Richard Tucker Award

In this March 13, 2017 photo provided by the Metropolitan Opera, Soprano Nadine Sierra performs as Ilia during the final dress rehearsal of Mozart's Idomeneo at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. (Marty Sohl/The Metropolitan Opera via AP)

AP LogoBY VERENA DOBNIK

NEW YORK (AP) — Soprano Nadine Sierra has won the 2017 Richard Tucker Award, dubbed the Heisman Trophy of opera.

The 28-year-old Florida native is “an American singer at the threshold of a major international career,” according to the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. That’s the condition for the award honoring Tucker, a Brooklyn-born tenor who died in 1975.

Sierra says the opera bug first bit her when she was 10, after she borrowed a video of Puccini’s “La Boheme” from a library in her hometown of Fort Lauderdale.

“When I watched the VHS for the first time, I was in awe that something so beautiful could exist,” said Sierra, speaking from Venice, Italy, where she was rehearsing for a performance at the Teatro la Fenice.

Her whimsical afterthought on the still-checked-out-video: “I feel a little guilty for never returning it, although I don’t regret it in the least.”

That opera’s soaring vocals inspired her own in a career that has taken her to New York’s Metropolitan Opera, the Paris Opera and Milan’s La Scala, among others. In September, she makes her debut at London’s Royal Opera House — singing “La Boheme.”

The annual award comes with a $50,000 prize plus a gala performance at Carnegie Hall.

Past winners include mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, soprano Renee Fleming and tenor Lawrence Brownlee.


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