Ailyn Pérez in 2012-13: Vienna, Hamburg, Miami, Moscow, New York & more
The Chicago-born soprano Ailyn Pérez continues to gain momentum as one of America’s fastest-rising talents as she heads into a 2012-13 season packed with many of opera’s best-loved heroines: Puccini’s Mimì, Mozart’s Countess, Verdi’s Violetta and Donizetti’s Adina. Several of these are becoming signature roles, including La traviata’s high-flying Violetta, which she will perform in Johannes Erath’s new production at the Hamburg State Opera in February and March. Also at the Hamburg State Opera this fall, Pérez will sing Mozart’s Countess in Le nozze di Figaro. Other highlights for Pérez in the coming season are her Bolshoi Theater debut in September as Mimì in La bohème, a role she also brings to Florida Grand Opera in November; Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera in March; a New Year’s Eve gala concert in Toronto; and her Avery Fisher Hall debut in November, when she will be honored as this year’s Richard Tucker Award winner.
Opera fans will be eagerly awaiting Pérez’s late-winter Violetta in Hamburg State Opera’s new production of La traviata (Feb 17-March 19) by cutting-edge German director Johannes Erath. Pérez recently performed Violetta on two days’ notice at Covent Garden last winter, winning her raves like this one from The Observer: “The bewitching young American soprano puts her heart into every twist of the drama, from the impetuousness of her love for Alfredo…to the febrile emergency of her death. Her performance was glorious, the quiet passages magical.”
Pérez begins the fall in Moscow, where she makes her Bolshoi Theater debut as Mimì in La bohème (Sept 22), then heads to Germany for four performances of the Mozart’s Countess in Le nozze di Figaro (Oct 12-19) at the Hamburg State Opera. Pérez reprises Puccini’s Mimì in Miami (Nov 17-Dec 8), when she headlines Florida Grand Opera’s production of La bohème (Nov 17-Dec 8). Describing Pérez’s recent Mimì in Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote, “A radiant Ailyn Pérez displayed Mimì’s vulnerability, and the luster of her voice and depth of expression were assets from her first ‘Mi chiamano Mimì.’ In the end, her pure-toned recollection of their meeting was heartbreaking.” In March, Pérez travels to Austria to take on Donizetti’s impetuous Adina in Otto Schenk’s production of L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera, opposite the Nemorino of Stephen Costello, her husband and frequent co-star (March 1-8).
Last season was highlighted by Pérez’s historic win of the 2012 Richard Tucker Award, conferred annually on an American opera singer at the threshold of a major international career. One of the coming season’s hottest opera tickets will be on November 11 at New York’s Avery Fisher Hall, the day when Pérez—the first Hispanic to receive that award in its 34-year history—is honored at the annual Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala. Fabio Luisi will lead the Met Orchestra and New York Choral Society at the event. This past June, Pérez was feted at the Greene Space in Manhattan on the occasion her Tucker Award win. At that event, she was joined by her husband and fellow Tucker Award winner (2009), Stephen Costello, for a conversation with soprano Aprile Millo, winner of the 1985 Tucker Award, and Barry Tucker, son of the great American tenor and President of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
This past August, Pérez traveled to her hometown of Chicago to sing Die Zauberflöte with the Chicago Symphony, closing out the 2012 Ravinia Festival. The Chicago Tribune wrote of those performances: “The Chicago-born Ailyn Pérez brought a luscious soprano, affecting tonal shadings and a touching characterization to the role of Pamina.” Also in August, Pérez was named one of opera’s “next wave” in Opera News, which described her rendition of Susanna’s “Deh vieni, non tardar” in Le nozze di Figaro as “warm, generous and elegantly funny ….Dressed in blue satin and looking like a million dollars in the soft stage moonlight, Pérez poured her heart out in perfectly shaped phrases…. It was an unforgettable moment.” In April, Pérez was interviewed at WQXR’s Operavore blog, where she chatted about her love of Maria Callas, serving as a judge on Cupcake Wars, and life onstage and off with her husband, tenor Stephen Costello. In June, Pérez and Costello were featured in a Vanity Fair photo spread, which described the couple as a “match made in heaven.” The video “Stephen Costello and Ailyn Pérez: An operatic love story” can be seen on YouTube:
In addition, Pérez’s 2011-12 season included highly praised performances as Violetta in La traviata at Covent Garden and in Cincinnati, as well as performances as Suzel in L’amico Fritz (Moscow), Mimì in La bohème (Zurich, Los Angeles), and Gilda alongside Plácido Domingo in Act 3 of Rigoletto for the Domingo Gala concerts at the Royal Opera House.
Ailyn Pérez is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts Philadelphia and Indiana University. She is a recipient of the George London Foundation’s Leonie Rysanek Award, a 2007 winner of a Shoshana Foundation Career Grant, placed second in the 2006 Plácido Domingo Operalia competition, and was previously lauded by the Loren L. Zachary Foundation, Opera Index and the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation.
Ailyn Pérez: selected 2012-13 engagements
Puccini: La bohème (Mimì)
Oct 12, 14, 17 & 19
Hamburg State Opera
Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro (Countess)
New York, NY
Avery Fisher Hall
Winner, 2012 Richard Tucker Award
Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala
Met Orchestra, New York Choral Society / Fabio Luisi
Nov 17, 20, 23, 25 & 28; Dec 1, 6 & 8
Florida Grand Opera
Puccini: La bohème (Mimì)
Roy Thompson Hall
New Year’s Eve Gala
Feb 17, 20; Mar 15, 19
Hamburg State Opera
Verdi: La traviata (Violetta) / new production
Mar 1, 4 & 8
Vienna State Opera
Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore (Adina)