Awards and Grants

The Richard Tucker Award

2017 Richard Tucker Award Winner Nadine Sierra

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.”

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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

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