Bryan Hymel Wins Beverly Sills Artist Award

March 25, 2013

Tenor Bryan Hymel has been named the recipient of the eighth 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 American singers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have already appeared in featured solo roles with the Met. Given in honor of Beverly Sills, it was established in 2006 by an endowment gift from Agnes Varis, a managing director on the Met board, and her husband, Karl Leichtman.

The 33-year-old Hymel, who was presented with the award at the Met today by Muffy Greenough, Sills’s daughter, made his company debut earlier this season as Aeneas in Berlioz’s Les Troyens. He was a late replacement for a colleague who decided to withdraw the role from his repertory, and his performance—which was also transmitted worldwide as part of the Met’s Live in HD series—met with considerable acclaim from both critics and the public. The New Orleans-born tenor will return to the Met in January 2014 to sing the role of Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. “I am honored and humbled to receive the Beverly Sills Artist Award,” Hymel said. “I have always admired Ms. Sills’s unparalleled performing career, consummate artistry, and exceptionally giving and successful work in arts administration, and I am grateful to be associated with such an extraordinary legacy. Her commanding vocalism and grace onstage were an inspiration for me in my unexpected Met debut this year. I offer sincere thanks to the Agnes Varis Trust, Peter Gelb, and the talented staff of the Metropolitan Opera.”

Previous recipients of the award include baritone Nathan Gunn, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, tenor Matthew Polenzani, bass John Relyea, soprano Susanna Phillips, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, and soprano Angela Meade.