“When I look back at my life, it almost seems like I was destined to become an opera singer.”
Soprano Ailyn Pérez made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Micaela in Carmen. She won both the 15th Annual Plácido Domingo Award and the 2012 Richard Tucker Award, making her the only Hispanic recipient in the award’s 35-year history.
Ailyn Pérez will return to The Met stage in Spring 2016 as Musetta in Zeffirelli’s La Boheme. This summer, she will perform as Juliette in The Santa Fe Opera Festival’s production of Gounod’s Romeo and Juliette. Other recent performances include Jake Heggie’s Great Scott at The Dallas Opera and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro at The Houston Grand Opera.
Pérez studied Vocal Performance at Indiana University in Bloomington and received her Artist Diploma from The Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. “I would say the first four years spent at Indiana were completely mind blowing to me in terms of how much repertoire and different niches of music one could dedicate their life’s work to. It was a paradise of so many talented musicians interested in not only completing the course work, but also in working creatively and seeking performance opportunities every week.”
Growing up bilingual and bicultural also aided in Pérez’s musical training. “I grew up speaking Spanish at home and was comfortable going back and forth between English and Spanish. In a way, I believe that my language background has played a major part in how I learn music.”
“I grew up listening to my parents record collection which ranged from popular American music and Romantic Spanish music, to Mariachi, and traditional folkloric Mexican music and dance,” she adds.
In light of all of her success, Pérez never forgets to thank the influence and support of her own family. “My family is there for me in a heartbeat. I am so grateful that my cousins, aunts, uncles, godparents, neighbors, family and friends have frequently driven more than 4 hours to hear me sing.”
The process of preparing for an operatic role is intensive and time-consuming. “We are expected to arrive on the first day of rehearsal with our role completely memorized and ready to stage.” Pérez is currently learning Russian for her role as Tatiana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.
Urban Agenda Magazine | Taylor Smith
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