The Richard Tucker Award

Nadine Sierra soprano

Previously a recipient of a 2010 Sara Tucker Study Grant and a 2013 Richard Tucker Career Grant, Florida native Nadine Sierra is being hailed as one of the most promising young talents in opera today. The rising-star soprano’s already long list of house debuts includes the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Paris Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, and Zürich Opera, as well as debuts last summer at the Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart festivals. On the concert stage, she has been a soloist with the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony, and featured in televised concerts from Lincoln Center and Venice’s Teatro la Fenice. She has appeared in recital at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall to the U.S. Supreme Court. Recently, she signed an exclusive recording contract jointly with Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Gold, Universal Music Classic’s new U.S. label.

Sierra’s 2016-17 season highlights include three productions at the Paris Opera: she opened the company’s season at the Palais Garnier as Flavia in a new production of Cavalli’s Eliogabalo; at the Opéra Bastille this past winter, she sang Pamina in Die Zauberflöte; and she returns for Gilda in Rigoletto in the coming months. At the Met, after singing Zerlina in Don Giovanni in the fall, she just last month made both her role and Live in HD debuts as Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo under the baton of James Levine. Also under Levine’s direction, she makes an upcoming Chicago Symphony debut at the Ravinia Festival in Haydn’s Creation. In 2017-18, in addition to returns to the Met, Paris, and San Francisco opera companies, she debuts at London’s Royal Opera House as Musetta in a new production of La bohème.

Nadine Sierra made her professional debut as a teenager with the Palm Beach Opera and received her first national exposure at age 15, when she performed on NPR’s young artist showcase, From the Top. After graduating from New York’s Mannes College of Music, she entered the Adler Fellowship Program at San Francisco Opera, where she continues to return frequently in leading roles. She is the youngest winner to date both of the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. As the San Francisco Chronicle notes, she inspires “a combination of admiration for her current gifts and eager anticipation at what the future surely holds for her.”

The Richard Tucker Award is selected by conferral, rather than audition.  This prestigious award carries not only the name of Richard Tucker and a cash prize of $50,000, but also a stellar list of past recipients.  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.

Richard Tucker Award Winners 1978-2016

  • 2016 Tamara Wilson
  • 2015 Jamie Barton
  • 2014 Michael Fabiano
  • 2013 Isabel Leonard
  • 2012 Ailyn Pérez
  • 2011 Angela Meade
  • 2010 James Valenti
  • 2009 Stephen Costello
  • 2008 No Award Given
  • 2007 Brandon Jovanovich
  • 2006 Lawrence Brownlee
  • 2005 Eric Cutler
  • 2004 Matthew Polenzani
  • 2003 John Relyea
  • 2002 Joyce DiDonato
  • 2001 Christine Goerke
  • 2000 Gregory Turay
  • 1999 Stephanie Blythe
  • 1998 Patricia Racette
  • 1997 David Daniels
  • 1996 Dwayne Croft
  • 1995 Paul Groves
  • 1994 Jennifer Larmore
  • 1993 Ruth Ann Swenson
  • 1992 Deborah Voigt
  • 1991 No Award Given
  • 1990 Renée Fleming
  • 1989 Margaret Jane Wray
  • 1988 Richard Leech
  • 1987 Harry Dworchak
  • 1986 Dolora Zajick
  • 1985 Aprile Millo
  • 1984 Roger Roloff
  • 1983 Susan Dunn
  • 1982 No Award Given
  • 1981 J. Patrick Raftery
  • 1980 Barry McCauley
  • 1979 Diana Soviero
  • 1978 Rockwell Blake