Ailyn Pérez, Luca Pisaroni & Ramón Vargas Among OPERA NEWS Winners

By Francisco Salazar

OPERA NEWS Editor in Chief F. Paul Driscoll has announced the recipients of the 14th Annual OPERA NEWS Awards.

This year, the magazine will honor mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias, stage director and designer Laurent Pelly, soprano Ailyn Pérez, bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni, and tenor Ramón Vargas.

In a press statement Driscoll said, “Since the Awards’ inception in 2005, OPERA NEWS looks forward to recognizing outstanding men and women in the world of opera. These five artists have transformed the way audiences experience opera and have left an everlasting impact on this essential and ever-evolving art form.”

Mexican tenor Vargas made his Met debut in 1992, as Edgardo in “Lucia di Lammermoor” and has since performed with the company in numerous roles including  Rodolfo in “La Bohème,” the Duke of Mantua in “Rigoletto,” Prince Ramiro in “La Cenerentola,” Alfredo in “La Traviata,” and Foresto in the Met’s first performances of Verdi’s “Attila.”

Pisaroni made his Met debut in 2005, as Publio in Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito.” and has performed numerous roles with the company including the Met’s world premiere of “The Enchanted Island.” He has appeared with all of the world’s major opera houses. This season he takes on his first performances of the title role in “Don Giovanni” and makes his role debut as the four “Hoffmann” villains at Baden-Baden. he also creates the leading role in “The Phoenix,” a new opera about Lorenzo da Ponte, at Houston Grand Opera. He will also make his company debut at the Liceu in Barcelona as Mustafà in “L’Italiana in Algeri.”

Pérez made her Met debut in 2015 and has since has performed with the company in numerous roles. She recently sang Elvira in Verdi’s “Ernani” at La Scala and is scheduled to make her role debut as Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni.” She is the 2012 Richard Tucker Award and the 2016 Beverly Sills Artist Award.

Elias made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 1954, as Grimgerde in “Die Walküre” and went on to perform in 687 performances. She created the role of Erika in the Met’s world premiere of Samuel Barber’s “Vanessa” and was Charmian in the first performances of Barber’s “Antony and Cleopatra,” the opera that inaugurated the Met’s theater at Lincoln Center, in 1966.

Pelly has directed opera all over the world including the Opéra de Lyon and Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, where he obtained international attention. Since his Met debut in 2008, with his staging of “La Fille du Régiment,” he has directed “Manon,” and “Cendrillon.

The OPERA NEWS awards will be given on April 7, 2019, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.