The Richard Tucker Music Foundation has named Lisette Oropesa the 2019 recipient of its coveted Richard Tucker Award, honoring young opera singers on the cusp of breakout international careers. In addition to a $50,000 cash prize, the distinction also comes with a starry gala celebration at Carnegie Hall, set for October 27 this year.
Oropesa, a first-generation Cuban-American and Baton Rouge native, studied at LSU School of Music before going on to win the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions in 2005. She made her official Met debut in Idomeneo in 2006, later taking on such roles as Le Nozze di Figaro's Susanna, Rigoletto's Gilda, Werther's Sophie, and Falstaff's Nannetta at the New York house. Her international career has led to star performances in, among others Lucia di Lammermoor in London and Madrid, Die Entführung aus dem Serail in Paris and Munich, and Rodelinda in Barcelona.
She returns to the Met in the 2019–2020 to sing two title roles: in the fall, Manon, followed by Violetta in La Traviata in the spring. Additional upcoming engagements include I Masnadieri at La Scala.
When she's not singing on stage, Oropesa, an active runner, can often be found on the marathon trail. Sometimes, she's doing both, as was the case at the start of the 2013 Brooklyn Marathon.
Past winners of the Richard Tucker Award include Christian Van Horn, Nadine Sierra, Matthew Polenzani, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, and two stars of the Met's current Ring Cycle: Christine Goerke and Jamie Barton.