“This year’s winner of the foundation’s top honor, the Rickard Tucker Award, is Ailyn Pérez, a fast-rising lyric soprano who was featured in three performances. Though Ms. Pérez has not yet appeared at the Metropolitan Opera, she has been thriving in major houses in Vienna, London, Berlin, Milan and at the Salzburg Festival.
Ms. Pérez opened the program with the scene from Massenet’s “Manon,” set on the Cours-la-Reine, a promenade along the Seine in Paris, after the innocent young heroine has been corrupted by jewels and finery from a wealthy older man. Performing with members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Patrick Summers, and the New York Choral Society (David Hayes, music director), Ms. Pérez brought a gleaming voice and agile coloratura technique to Manon’s brilliant arioso and coyly seductive gavotte (“Obéissons quand leur voix appelle”). Her voice has a distinctive timbre, with plaintive richness blended into its youthful bloom . . . Ms. Pérez, a beautiful woman who commands the stage, has the makings of a major soprano.”
Anthony Tommasini – The New York Times