Lisette Oropesa is the Met’s new prized object

Lisette Oropesa is the Met’s new prized object


norman lebrecht

May 08, 2019

A month ago she won the $50,000 Richard Tucker Award.

Last night, soprano Lisette Oropesa collected the Metropolitan Opera’s 2019 Beverly Sills Artist Award, also worth $50k.

The prize is given annually to a rising Met favourite, providing financial support for vocal coaching, language study, travel costs etc.

‘I am tremendously grateful to be named this year’s recipient of the Beverly Sills Artist Award,’ said Oropesa, who sings Massenet’s Manon and Verdi’s Violetta next season. ‘This award honors one of the great American icons of opera. Growing up, I idolized Beverly Sills for her lovable personality, her unmatched stage presence, and her extraordinary singing. I have the privilege of performing two of her most distinguished roles next season at the Met—may her inspiration live on for many more years to come.’



  • Emil says:

    I’d be curious to know how they define ‘rising’: Oropesa has been singing at the MET since 2007-08, and has been singing major roles there since 2011 (Amor in Orfeo ed Euridice, Miranda in The Enchanted Island, Gilda in 2012-13, Nanetta the next year, etc.). I’d consider her rather on the established side at the Met, though she is young and perhaps not a major box-office draw yet.

    • R. Brite says:

      I think you’re right in that she is only recently drawing the attention of a wider public. I’m not sure why Norman is “objectifying” her, though!

    • chris says:

      Her European season was career-making, with leads in Lucia & Les Hugenots taking her career to the next level.

      She was last at the Met in Hansel and Gretel. Next year she’ll star as Manon & Violetta.

      That’s a career on the rise.

  • The View from America says:

    FINALLY, an updated photo of La Lisette here on SD … wonder of wonders!

  • Sanity says:

    Proof, if it were needed, that these kind of prizes tend to go to the people the awarding panel would like to hang out with, rather than those who actually need the money.

    The idea of the Sills award was to pass on the kindness shown to her by a benefactor very early on in her career.

    Oropesa might (literally) be worth her weight in gold to the Met at the moment; but this award should have been given to a much younger singer for whom the cash sum would have been transformative.

  • John Russell says:

    Absolutely, she deserves these awards. She is relatively new in the “pantheon” of truly fine singer-Artists and is a believer in constantly improving.
    She is JUST becoming a true star and is NOT a mere PR-made-up “personality”, which we have seen occasionally over the years. Her singing is spectacular, overall, and the timbre, beautiful! A lovely person to meet and know as colleague.

  • Samantha says:

    Can you please not refer to a human as an “object”?

  • Greg Mowery says:

    It seems to me that Oropesa has been on the rise for a long time. It’s now some eleven or twelve years since she made her Met debut and she’s more than earned her way to the point where she’s entering the top of the heap. And at 35, earning some prizes is getting a little late in the game. But I can’t think of a more worthy artist. She’s always been a very finished artist. Her Nanetta, Susanna, Gilda, were the kinds of performances that are the very best of her generation. I would have to back to Helen Donath to find a comparable Gretel. She was truly luxury casting as Lisette in LA RONDINE with the Alagna and Gheorghiu at the Met. And my ear was immediately drawn to her beguiling Sophie in WERTHER. Again, one would have to go back to Kathleen Battle for a voice of such quality. I think it was a smart idea for Oropesa to leave the Met and come back a star. LES HUGENOTS was a wonderful opportunity, replacing Diana Damrau. Under a lot of pressure learning the role in very little time and stepping in, and nailing it gave coming fresh off a huge success as LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR at Covent Garden showed she wasn’t a fluke. So I prefer to think about these two awards as a thank you for all her hard work, and her arrival at the very front rank of outstanding American singers. Keep in mind that previous winners may have peaked too early. Oropesa voice, artistry, beauty, sympathetic stage presence, have all come together in a performer who has it all. We can confidently look forward to a singer who should be a leading operatic star for the next fifteen to twenty years.