Pure Magic: Soprano Ailyn Pérez casts her spell at the Met this autumn as Thaïs
Ailyn Pérez is an ideal contemporary opera star – beloved by both the “old guard,” who demand respect for operatic tradition and history, and the younger devotees, who require a high level of acting skill, camera-ready looks and technological savvy. Review after review refers to Pérez as the “total package”—and for good reason. Onstage, her huge, expressive brown eyes, impossibly wide cheekbones and generous mouth contribute to a great beauty. Best of all, there’s the morbidezza of her full lyric singing. Zeani, Tebaldi and de los Angeles are legendary names that are bandied about to evoke the fine-textured, delicate but dramatically incisive sound of Pérez’s voice. And her face mirrors all of the music’s vivid emotion.
While she is clearly a star, she is shrewd enough to know that a performance is the sum of its parts, a result of moment-to-moment collaboration with everyone with whom she engages onstage. “Ailyn brings joy and positive energy to everything she does,” says her colleague, bass-baritone Luca Pisaroni. “When we did the Dulcamara–Adina duet from L’Elisir d’Amore last year on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Ailyn made the studio audience and the people watching at home fall in love with her.”