Leah Hawkins Wins 2024 Beverly Sills Award

By Francisco Salazar

The Metropolitan Opera has named soprano Leah Hawkins the winner of the 2024 Beverly Sills Artist Award.

The annual $50,000 award recognizes extraordinarily gifted singers with rising Met careers.

In  a statement the soprano said, “I am extremely honored and grateful to be the 2024 recipient of the Beverly Sills Award and to join this incredible group of recipients, all of whom I deeply admire and respect. From the moment I began the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, I’ve felt the love and support of the entire company. I am in awe of the legacy of Ms. Sills, whose vocal, artistic, and social prowess continue to inspire us all. I hope that my passion for people and my love for singing reflect the brilliance she inspired not only in my own life, but in those she touched on stage and off.”

Hawkins is an alumna of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program and made her Met debut in “Suor Angelica” in 2018. She has since performed in productions ofX: The Life and Times of Malcolm X,” “Aida,” “Porgy and Bess,” “The Queen of Spades,” and “La Bohème.” She was also a soloist in the Verdi Requiem. 

Established in 2006 by an endowment gift from the late Agnes Varis, a former Met board member, and her husband, Karl Leichtman, the award is given in honor of legendary American soprano Beverly Sills.

Hawkins joins a list of past winners that includes baritone Nathan Gunn in 2006, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in 2007, tenor Matthew Polenzani in 2008, bass-baritone John Relyea in 2009, soprano Susanna Phillips in 2010, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard in 2011, soprano Angela Meade in 2012, tenor Bryan Hymel in 2013, tenor Michael Fabiano in 2014, baritone Quinn Kelsey in 2015, soprano Ailyn Pérez in 2016, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton in 2017, soprano Nadine Sierra in 2018, soprano Lisette Oropesa in 2019, and soprano Angel Blue in 2020. In 2021 five recipients received the award, including sopranos Erin Morley and Brenda Rae, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, tenor Ben Bliss, and bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green. Baritone Will Liverman received the award in 2022. Ryan Speedo Green received the honor a second time in 2023.