Nadine Sierra Wins The 2018 Beverly Sills Award

By Francisco Salazar

Soprano Nadine Sierra has been named the winner of the 13th annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera.

The prize, which is a $50,000 award, the largest of its kind in the United States, is given to extraordinarily gifted singers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have already appeared in featured solo roles at the Met.

Established in 2006 in honor of Beverly Sills, the award is given by an endowment gift from the late Agnes Varis, a managing director on the Met board.

Met General Manager Peter Gelb presented Sierra with the award saying: “Nadine is a most deserving recipient. I’m sure that Beverly would have been pleased with our choice.”

In a press statement, Sierra noted, “This award is a true gift to singers because it honors not only a beautiful artist in Beverly Sills but treasures the legacy she left behind. It’s not enough to say that I’m honored to be receiving it, but more that I feel incredibly humbled. Opera can and should belong to anyone who has the pleasure of witnessing its timeless beauty. I believe Ms. Sills, through all of her achievements and generosity of sharing this music with people around the world for many decades, would certainly agree. I’m very thankful to the Metropolitan Opera for selecting me as the recipient of such a meaningful and empowering award.”

Sierra became the youngest-ever winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2009 and made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2015 in Verdi’s “Rigoletto.” She has since performed in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro,” “Idomeneo” and “Don Giovanni.” Next season she will appear in “Rigoletto,” reprising her celebrated Gilda.

Recent Sills Award winners have included Nathan Gunn in 2006, Joyce DiDonato in 2007,  Matthew Polenzani in 2008, JohnRelyea in 2009, Susanna Phillips in 2010, Isabel Leonard in 2011, Angela Meade in 2012, Brian Hymel in 2013, Michael Fabiano in 2014, Quinn Kelsey in 2015, Ailyn Pérez in 2016, and Jamie Barton in 2017.