by Adam Wasserman
Mezzo Jamie Barton has been named as the winner of the 2015 Richard Tucker Award. One of opera’s most prestigious accolades, the award carries a cash prize of $50,000 and is bestowed annually on an American singer deemed to be on the threshold of a major international career by a panel of industry professionals.
Previously, Barton was named as the winner of both the Main and Song prizes at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and she was also a winner at the 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In 2012, the mezzo was a recipient of a Career Grant from the Tucker Foundation, and in 2014, she was named as the recipient of a Marian Anderson Award from the Kennedy Center.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been as speechless as I was when Barry Tucker called me to give me the news that I’d won the Richard Tucker Award,” said Barton, who is currently singing Fricka in performances of Die Walküre with Houston Grand Opera. “I’m overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude. The Tucker Foundation has been a musical family for me for years now, and to be given its top prize is an absolute honor.”
Previous winners of the Tucker Award include Renée Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee, Stephanie Blythe, David Daniels, Angela Meade and Joyce DiDonato.
In addition to its main prize, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation today also named the winners of its 2015 Richard Tucker Career Grants and Sara Tucker Study Grants. Each of the winners was selected following auditions last week at New York City’s 92nd Street Y. Career Grants, each carrying a $10,000 prize, went to tenor Benjamin Bliss, bass-baritone Brandon Cedel, and bass-baritone Michael Sumuel. The Foundation’s Sara Tucker Study Grants, which are awarded with $5,000 prizes to singers at the start of their professional endeavors, were given to soprano Julie Adams, soprano D’Ana Lombard, baritone Sean Michael Plumb and baritone Reginald Smith Jr.
The Tucker Foundation will present its annual gala — which will feature Barton alongside a number of other opera stars — on November 1 at Avery Fisher Hall.