The Richard Tucker Award

Christian Van Horn Bass-Baritone

Christian Van Horn is, as Opera Wire put it, “well on his way to stardom.” His long association with the foundation dates back to his receipt of a Sara Tucker Study Grant in 2003, in which year he also took first place at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Since then, he has made debuts on many of the world’s great opera stages, where he is now taking on principal roles in major international productions. This season alone, besides starring as Mephistopheles in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new treatment of Faust, he sang his first Enrico in Anna Bolena at the Canadian Opera Company and created the role of Julio in the Metropolitan Opera’s American premiere of The Exterminating Angel by Thomas Adés. Next season brings two more important firsts, when the bass-baritone makes debuts at the Paris Opera and in the title role of Mefistofele at the Met.

Other of the world’s foremost opera houses where Van Horn has appeared include Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Rome Opera, Stuttgart Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, and Netherlands Opera, as well as the Salzburg and Munich festivals. Besides undertaking such signature roles as the title character in Le nozze di Figaro, Colline in La bohéme, Banquo in Macbeth, the Four Villains in Les Contes d’Hoffmann, and Escamillo in Carmen, he took part in the world premiere productions of Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of the Soul at Santa Fe Opera and Marco Tutino’s Two Women at San Francisco Opera. Among his most notable concert engagements are recent debuts with the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony and appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle in Salzburg; in the Emerson String Quartet’s “Perspectives” series at Carnegie Hall; and with the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, and Melbourne. He has recorded the title role of Le nozze di Figaro for Sony Classical and recently appeared in the Metropolitan Opera’s HD broadcast of Falstaff. In addition to winning first place at the 2003 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and receiving a 2003 Sara Tucker Study Grant, his honors include first place at the 2002 MacAllister Competition Collegiate Division, a top prize at the 2002 Liederkranz Foundation Vocal Competition, and the Richman Award from Opera Theatre of St. Louis. A native of Long Island and graduate of Chicago’s Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, Van Horn holds a Master’s in music from Yale University. Click here for more information.


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 1978-2017

  • 2017 Nadine Sierra
  • 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