Bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green wins Met’s 2023 Beverly Sills Artist Award
New York, NY (April 19, 2023)—The Metropolitan Opera has named bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green the winner of the 2023 Beverly Sills Artist Award, the second time that Green has received this honor. Previously, Green shared the award with four other artists in 2021, the season that had been canceled due to the pandemic. The annual $50,000 award recognizes extraordinarily gifted singers with rising Met careers. Established in 2006 by an endowment gift from the late Agnes Varis, a former Met Board member, the award is given in honor of legendary American soprano Beverly Sills.
Most recently at the Met, Green starred in his first leading role, portraying Young Emile Griffith in the company premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Champion. The Financial Times praised Green, describing him as “always impeccable…he brings a naturalness to every role.” A graduate of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, Green has been a fixture on the company’s stage since his 2012 debut as the Mandarin in Turandot. He helped open the company’s 2021–22 season as Uncle Paul in the Met premiere of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones—which won the 2023 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording—before reprising his portrayals of Jake in Porgy and Bess and Colline in La Bohème, making his role debuts as Varlaam in Boris Godunov and Truffaldin in Ariadne auf Naxos, and performing in A Concert for Ukraine as a soloist in the finale to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
“I remain profoundly honored to be the recipient of the Beverly Sills Award for the second time,” Green said. “Ms. Sills’s infectious vitality and legacy of arts advocacy continues to radiate through the hallowed halls of the Met and beyond, and I look forward to standing in the glow of that heritage.”
Other Met highlights in his career include the King in Aida, Oroe in Semiramide, Rambo in John Adams’s The Death of Klinghoffer, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, the Jailer in Tosca, and the Second Knight in Parsifal. In 2014, he became a member of the ensemble of the Vienna State Opera, where his roles have included Banquo in Macbeth, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Truffaldin, Fasolt in Das Rheingold, and Colline, among many others. This season, he also appears in concert with the Met Orchestra and Met Orchestra Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall and as Ferrando in Il Trovatore and Orest in Elektra at the Washington National Opera, Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde at the Paris Opera and in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Varlaam at the Bavarian State Opera.
The Sills Award was created to help further the careers of rising stars by providing additional funding for vocal coaching, language study, travel costs, and other professional expenses. 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 important emerging singers.
The award has been presented to an outstanding roster of previous winners: baritone Nathan Gunn in 2006, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in 2007, tenor Matthew Polenzani in 2008, bass-baritone John Relyea in 2009, soprano Susanna Phillips in 2010, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard in 2011, soprano Angela Meade in 2012, tenor Bryan Hymel in 2013, tenor Michael Fabiano in 2014, baritone Quinn Kelsey in 2015, soprano Ailyn Pérez in 2016, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton in 2017, soprano Nadine Sierra in 2018, soprano Lisette Oropesa in 2019, and soprano Angel Blue in 2020. Green shared the award with four other singers in 2021 when, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its devastating economic impact on singers, it was given to multiple recipients, including sopranos Erin Morley and Brenda Rae, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, and tenor Ben Bliss. Baritone Will Liverman received the award in 2022.