Joyce El-Khoury Wins Maria Callas Award

By Francisco Salazar

The Dallas Opera has named soprano Joyce El-Khoury the 2022 “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year” for her Dallas Opera debut as Leïla in Bizet’s “The Pearl Fishers.”

The award, named for the unofficial “godmother” of The Dallas Opera, is given to a single performer each season in recognition of a particularly memorable and outstanding company debut. El-Khoury won praise for her performance from both audiences and critics.

El-Khoury has performed at the Glyndebourne Festival, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and Welsh National Opera, among other companies in Europe and North America.

In a statement Ian Derrer, Kern Wildenthal General Director and CEO said, “A season that includes a particularly large number of debuts brings an exciting anticipation to each production. Joyce’s passionate debut as Leïla was a dramatic and vocal highlight that our audiences will not soon forget—and our subscribers overwhelmingly echoed that in their votes.”

Maria Callas launched The Dallas Opera in 1957 with a recital in the Music Hall at Fair Park conducted by Nicola Rescigno. She continued to grace TDO’s stage throughout the company’s early years with a series of legendary performances.