Big one for Lisette Oropesa

Big one for Lisette Oropesa


norman lebrecht

April 08, 2019

The Cuban-American soprano has won the 2019 Richard Tucker award, worth 50 grand.

Mini-grants of 10k each go to to sopranos Gabriella Reyes and Laura Wilde and baritone Will Liverman.

Here’s her lifestyle interview in Runners World.


  • The View from America says:

    Perhaps she could use some of the award money to have fresh publicity photos made and sent to SlippedDisc for their exclusive use.

    • LK says:

      She has plenty of new beautiful photos easily accessible to anyone who wishes to use them. NL deliberating uses this one for reasons unknown

  • Michael Terry says:

    Why do you insist on having a dig at certain artists? Lisette Oropesa is a wonderful singer and a dedicated artist and yet you seem to think it is funny to make snide refernces to the fact that she worked hard at one point in her developing career to get fit and lose weight. Shame on you, but not the only example on your site of sexist and racist digs. Fed up!

  • Peter Carwell says:

    As Executive Director of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, I want to qualify that the Foundation gave out nine total grants, in addition to the Richard Tucker Award: six Sara Tucker Study Grants of $5000 and three Richard Tucker Career Grants of $10,000. The grants were awarded after auditions where more than 60 exceptional American singers were heard by a panel of opera professionals. To learn more about the grants and award winners, visit our web site,

    The winners of the grants were:
    Sara Tucker Study Grants:
    Kayleigh Decker, Mezzo-soprano
    Mathilda Edge, Soprano
    Jessica Faselt, Soprano
    Miles Mykannen, Tenor
    Alexandria Shiner, Soprano
    Richard Trey Smagur, Tenor

    Richard Tucker Career Grants:
    Will Liverman, Baritone
    Gabriella Reyes, Soprano
    Laura Wilde, Soprano

  • AMetFan says:

    I like Ms. Oropesa a lot, but isn’t she a bit far into her career to receive a career advancement grant? She would earn this amount in a few Met performances. Wouldn’t this money be better utilised by up-and-coming performers, not those who are already appearing on the premiere stages of the world? If she had been given this ten years ago, yes, but at 36?

    • Caravaggio says:

      The complication is this, yet quite simple: To whom else 10 years younger are they going to issue the award? Currently there is no one that young who meets the minimum criteria for excellence. This is why I keep repeating that the world of opera is in the throes of an unprecedented crisis due to a (irony alert) wealth of vastly unqualified, uninteresting, pedestrian voices.

      • Ms.Melody says:

        The problems begin with teachers who do not teach a proper technique that would allow the young singer to grow, develop and at the same time preserve the voice for future heavier roles. Any time a potentially good , promising singer appears he/she gets used too much, too frequently and in a repertoire that is not suitable. So, by mid thirties they are well on the way to vocal ruin. Look at recent examples of singers canceling or failing. Recently Sirius broadcast Manon Lescaut with Dorothy Kirsten ages 65. I would like to find a singer half her age today who sounds half as good.

        • AMetFan says:

          Perhaps the Tucker money would be better put to use by allowing younger singers “to grow, develop and at the same time preserve the voice for future heavier roles” instead of desperately taking jobs for which they are not sufficiently mature or prepared?

    • SteelTownRunner says:

      It does help with freedom in making artistic and career choices for where to work in forthcoming engagements. There are pros and cons to giving it to a more established artist, but there is plenty that someone like her can gain from it in establishing herself as a global artist.

    • Rosewyn says:

      36 is still young for many voices. We don’t all mature in our 20s. There is always more training and career changes/advancement to cope with as the voice matures, which means moving into other roles. 🙂

  • Ms.Melody says:

    Maybe it is a little old but it is a beautiful picture of a beautiful woman and easily recognizable
    So, what’s the fuss?

  • Daniel Layne says:

    The Richard Tucker Award is not a career advancement grant.
    “The operative guideline for the Richard Tucker Award is that it be awarded to an American singer poised on the edge of a major national and international career, and it is hoped that the award acts as a well-timed catalyst to elevate the artist’s career to even greater heights.”-The Richard Tucker Foundation.
    The prize is a monetary award given to young but established singers with major careers.

    • AMetFAn says:

      Be that as it may, there is a perceived crisis in the creation of sustained careers for opera singers. Perhaps the Tucker Foundation should re-evaluate how it might best advance the art form in this day and age. Organizations and their mandates should evolve to solve problems.

  • CJ says:

    Anyway, she sang beautifully in Brussels on Friday in a “Robert le Diable” enthusiastly conducted by Evelino Pidò. She was also very elegant and got a HUGE cheer from the public.

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Who cares about the photograph??? Can’t you just be happy for her? You miserable bastards!

  • Shoe mon says:

    Interesting how this got moved to the 2nd page. What is that expression? If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Or in NL’s case, move the kitchen so people don’t see people taking him to task.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Nobody moved anything. It got displaced by later stories. Take your imagination some other place.

      • Shoe mon says:

        I apologize. This was my one attempt to be a bit of a online iconoclast. It feels awful and I hastily resign to return to meditation as my outlet. I have read all your books and keep up the good work. I should have taken my own advice and not even have thought about entering the kitchen of the comments of SD.