The Metropolitan Opera’s 11th Annual Beverly Sills Artist Award, worth 50 grand, has been given to soprano Ailyn Perez, who sings her first Bohème Musettas there this month.
Previous winners include Joyce DiDonato, Bryan Hymel and Michael Fabiano.
Ailyn, 36, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She said: ‘For me and so many others, Beverly Sills’s legacy is an inspiration. She presented the operatic voice as something we could be fascinated and awed by, and with her great sense of humor, she was ‘Bubbles,’ the diva we could all relate to. I also feel a great responsibility to be an active part of continuing that tradition, and to find innovative ways to engage new audiences through social media and working in our schools. Opera will survive and thrive if we embrace it as an important part of our collective culture.’