Tenor Receives Richard Tucker Award
Michael Fabiano, a 29-year-old whose burnished tenor has made him one of the opera world’s most closely watched young singers, has won the $50,000 Richard Tucker Award, the foundation that gives the award announced on Thursday.
The award, which is named for Tucker, the Brooklyn-born tenor, is given to singers deemed by a panel of judges to be “at the threshold of a major international career.” The award has previously gone to Renée Fleming, Stephanie Blythe and Joyce DiDonato, among others.
“As an American tenor, I am in awe of all that Richard Tucker accomplished as one of the greatest tenors who ever lived and as an ambassador for opera throughout the world,’’ Mr. Fabiano said in a statement from Amsterdam, where he was preparing to sing the title role in a new production of Gounod’s “Faust” with the Dutch National Opera.
Barry Tucker, the president of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and the son of the tenor for whom the prize is named, said that he had been “bowled over” by Mr. Fabiano’s performance last year in a concert version of Verdi’s “Lombardi Alla Prima Crociata” with the Opera Orchestra of New York at Avery Fisher Hall.
“Not only is he an exceptional singer, but he has the extraordinary ability to excite audiences and bring them to the edge of their seats,” Mr. Tucker said in a statement.
This is the second $50,000 prize named for a great opera singer from Brooklyn that Mr. Fabiano has won so far this year: in February he won the Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers who have had featured roles at the Metropolitan Opera.
On Friday, February 21st, Michael was presented with the 2014 Beverly Sills Artist Award by Met General Manager, Peter Gelb. The $50,000 award, given in honor of the late soprano, was established in 2006, and recognizes extraordinarily gifted singers between the ages of 25 and 40, who have performed in featured solo roles at the Metropolitan Opera.
Michael, at 29, is one of the youngest singers to receive this award whose previous recipients include Joyce Di Donato, Angela Meade, and Bryan Hymel.
General Manager Peter Gelb presents Beverly Sills Artist Award to Michael (private photo)
Fred Plotkin, of WQXR’s Operavore program, has established the First Annual Excellence in Opera Awards, (AKA “The Freddies”). Michael is the first one to receive the award for the “Best Star-making Performance” by a male singer for his extraordinary performance as Oronte in Verdi’s I Lombardi alla Prima Crociata with Opera Orchestra of New York last April in Avery Fisher Hall. “The tenor wowed the audience with his golden-age style singing”, writes Plotkin.