The Dallas Opera has announced that American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe has won its 2019 Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award.
The Maria Callas Award, established during the 1991-92 season, is “given to a single performer each season in recognition of a particularly memorable and outstanding company debut” – in this case, Blythe’s “saucy, scene-stealing portrayal of Mistress Quickly in [Dallas Opera’s] critically-acclaimed spring production of Verdi’s ‘Falstaff,'” according to the press release.
Blythe’s response to the news of her achievement was read by General Director Ian Derrer to guests of the annual Dallas Opera Board and Trustee Appreciation Dinner on Jun. 13, 2019: “After twenty-five years of being a part of this incredible world of opera, I never cease to be amazed by the power of our art form . . . It is remarkable to see how opera can create such a beautiful and enthusiastic community – and the Dallas audience is just such a special community. I wish you could all feel the power of your support as we feel it over the ‘footlights.’ It is a palpable appreciation that feeds the heart and soul of singing! I am so very grateful to be the recipient of this year’s Maria Callas Award, and only wish that I could be there to receive it in person. I look forward to performing for the wonderful audiences of The Dallas Opera in the future, and I thank you for welcoming me with such enthusiasm and hospitality!”
She also expressed her gratitude on social media: “I am so grateful to the Dallas Opera subscribers who chose me for this lovely award. Our Falstaff was a joy from start to finish, and I couldn’t have asked for more amazingly talented colleagues, both in front of and behind the scenes. The Dallas Opera is an extraordinary company, and I am thrilled to have finally made my debut in this particular production.”
Blythe will receive an etched-crystal plaque, created by award-winning designers from Tiffany & Co., “[bearing] the likeness of The Dallas Opera’s unofficial ‘Godmother,’ iconic Greek soprano Maria Callas.”