15 April 2013

Mezzo Isabel Leonard Named Winner of 2013 Richard Tucker Award

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Mezzo Isabel Leonard has been named as the winner of the 2013 Richard Tucker Award, an accolade bestowed annually by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation that carries a cash prize of $30,000.

The Tucker Award, which is conferred on an opera singer "at the threshold of a major international career," has previously been given to singers including Renée Fleming, Deborah Voigt, David Daniels, and Joyce DiDonato.

Leonard — who appeared on the cover of OPERA NEWS in October 2012, and in the magazine's Sound Bites department in March 2008 — will be honored at the Richard Tucker Music Foundation's Lincoln Center gala on November 17. The event, honoring the foundation's eponymous Brooklyn-born tenor, will feature performances by previous Tucker Award-winners including Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Stephanie Blythe, Matthew Polenzani, Angela Meade, Stephen Costello and Ailyn Pérez.

"As a native New Yorker, I can think of no greater honor than to be named the winner of the Richard Tucker Award," Leonard is quoted as saying. "Receiving this award is a wonderful validation of the work I've done in my career so far, and I am excited to carry on the legacy of Richard Tucker and the Richard Tucker Music Foundation."

Leonard, a Juilliard graduate, made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2007 as Stéphano in Gounod's Roméo et Juliette. Next month, she will make her role debut as Blanche in Met performances of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites. In June, she will take part in concert performances of Mahler's 4th Symphony with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and in August, she will travel to Japan for performances of L'Heure Espagnole and L'Enfant et les Sortileges at the Saito Kinen Festival. Recent performances by the mezzo-soprano include her role debut as Miranda in Thomas Adès's The Tempest at the Met, as well as Sesto in Clemenza di Tito at the Canadian Opera Company. In addition to her appearances at the Metropolitan Opera — which awarded her the Beverly Sills Artist Award in 2011 — Leonard has performed at the Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre and Opera Colorado; Leonard's international career has taken her to the Vienna State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, Opéra National de Bordeaux, the Bayerische Staatsoper and the Glyndebourne and Salzburg Festivals. 

On April 21, Leonard will appear at the Eighth Annual OPERA NEWS Awards, where she is slated to present the OPERA NEWS Award for Distinguished Achievement to her Tempest costar British baritone Simon Keenlyside. spacer

More information can be found at www.richardtucker.org and www.isabelleonard.com.

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