2014 Beverly Sills Artist Award
February 21, 2014
Tenor Michael Fabiano Receives
Ninth Annual Beverly Sills Artist Award
New York, NY – Tenor Michael Fabiano has been named the recipient of the ninth annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera. The $50,000 award, the largest of its kind in the United States, is designated for extraordinarily gifted singers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have already appeared in featured solo roles at the Met. The award, given in honor of Beverly Sills, was established in 2006 by an endowment gift from former Met board member Agnes Varis, who died in 2011. Ms. Varis was also the founding donor of the Met’s Rush Ticket program. Fabiano was presented with the award at the Met today by Met General Manager Peter Gelb.
The Sills Award was created to help further recipients’ careers, including funding for voice lessons, vocal coaching, language lessons, related travel costs, and other professional assistance. Sills, who died in 2007, was well known as a supporter and friend to developing young artists, and this award continues her legacy as an advocate for rising singers. Fabiano, who at 29 is among the youngest singers to receive the award, is the ninth Sills Award honoree, following baritone Nathan Gunn in 2006, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in 2007, tenor Matthew Polenzani in 2008, bass John Relyea in 2009, soprano Susanna Phillips in 2010, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard in 2011, soprano Angela Meade in 2012, and tenor Bryan Hymel in 2013.
“I am profoundly honored to be the recipient of the 2014 Beverly Sills Award,” Fabiano said. “Ms. Sills was one of the greatest artists ever produced by this country. Not only was she an extraordinary singing actress, as evidenced in her portrayals of such roles as Lucia di Lammermoor, Queen Elizabeth in Roberto Devereux, and Manon, but her gifts for arts advocacy created a new recognition for the excellence of the American singer. I am deeply grateful to the Metropolitan Opera, and the Agnes Varis Trust in memory of Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman, for granting me this award.”
Fabiano first came to prominence as a winner of the 2007 Met National Council Auditions, a competition that was documented in Susan Froemke’s film The Audition. He made his Met debut in 2010 as Raffaele in Verdi’s rarely performed Stiffelio. In 2012, he sang Cassio in Verdi’s Otello in a series of performances that included a worldwide Live in HD transmission to movie theaters in more than 60 countries. He currently stars as Alfred in a new production of Johann Strauss’s Die Fledermaus, which has its final performance of the season on February 22.