Ailyn Pérez

Introduction

Hailed by the New York Times as “a beautiful woman who commands the stage” and “a major soprano,” Ailyn Pérez is increasingly in demand at the world’s leading opera houses and cultural capitals. She has won both the 2012 Richard Tucker Award, thereby becoming the only Hispanic recipient in the award’s 35-year history, and the 15th annual Plácido Domingo Award. As Opera News observes, “The phrase ‘an embarrassment of riches’ might have been invented to describe the combination of talents that belong to Ailyn Pérez, … who truly seems to have it all.”

Already something of a calling card for Pérez, the role of Violetta in La traviata is the vehicle for five of her operatic engagements in 2013-14. She launches the new season at the Hamburg State Opera, opposite her husband and frequent co-star, tenor Stephen Costello, before revisiting Verdi’s doomed heroine at Spain’s Ópera de Oviedo and the Bavarian State Opera. Pérez and Costello reunite to reprise their portrayals at San Francisco Opera and London’s Royal Opera House, at which Pérez has already been hailed as “an ideal Violetta” (Observer, UK). She may be seen twice more at Covent Garden this season, undertaking the title part of Massenet’s Manon in Laurent Pelly’s celebrated treatment, and making her role debut as Liù in Puccini’s Turandot. Pérez closes the opera season as she began it: starring opposite Costello in Verdi at Hamburg State Opera, this time as Gilda to his Duke in Rigoletto. On the concert stage, Pérez graces a star-studded Richard Tucker Music Foundation gala event at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, where she celebrates the Brooklyn-born tenor’s centennial with fellow Tucker Award-winners including Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, and Costello, who won the award in 2009. Dubbed “America’s fastest-rising husband-and-wife opera stars” (Associated Press) and praised for their “palpable chemistry”(New York Times), Pérez and Costello also team up for operatic duets, in recital at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, and on their forthcoming album, which is due for release in May. 

Roles Pérez will portray in future seasons include Norina in Don Pasquale, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Violetta in La traviata, Tatiana in Eugene Onegin, the title role in Manon, a world premiere by composer Jake Heggie, Desdemona in Otello, The Countess in Le nozze di Figaro, Juliette in Romeo et Juliette, with which she will make her debuts at several top American and international opera houses.

 
For an up-to-date biography please contact Rachel Walters  

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News & Features

Repertoire

Operatic Repertoire

BELLINI - I Capuleti e i Montechi, Giulietta

BEETHOVEN - Fidelio, Marzelline

BIZET - Les Pecheurs de Perles, Leila

BIZET - Carmen, Micaela

DONIZETTI - L'elisir d'amore, Adina

GOUNOD - Faust, Marguerite

GOUNOD - Romeo et Juliette, Juliette

MASSENET - Manon, Manon

MOZART - Don Giovanni, Zerlina + Donna Elvira

MOZART - Idomeneo, Ilia

MOZART - Le nozze di Figaro, Countess

MOZART - Die Zauberflote, Pamina

OFFENBACH - Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Four Heroines

POULENC - Les dialogues des Carmelites, Blanche

PUCCINI - La Boheme, Mimi

PUCCINI - Turandot, Liu

PUCCINI - Le Villi, Anna

VERDI - Otello, Desdemona

VERDI - Simon Boccanegra, Amelia

VERDI - La Traviata, Violetta

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Video

  • VERDI
    'E strano...Ah, forsè lui...Sempre libera' from La Traviata

Schedule

Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London

VERDI: La Traviata
 
Violetta Valéry Ailyn Pérez
Alfredo Germont Stephen Costello 
Giorgio Germont Simon Keenlyside
Baron Douphol Ashley Riches
Doctor Grenvil Jihoon Kim
Flora Bervoix Nadezhda Karyazina 
Marquis D'Obigny Charbel Mattar
Gastone de Letorières David Butt Philip  
Annina Gaynor Keeble
Giuseppe Neil Gillespie 
Messenger John Bernays 

Director Richard Eyre 
Conductor Dan Ettinger
Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London

VERDI: La Traviata
 
Violetta Valéry Ailyn Pérez
Alfredo Germont Stephen Costello 
Giorgio Germont Simon Keenlyside
Baron Douphol Ashley Riches
Doctor Grenvil Jihoon Kim
Flora Bervoix Nadezhda Karyazina 
Marquis D'Obigny Charbel Mattar
Gastone de Letorières David Butt Philip  
Annina Gaynor Keeble
Giuseppe Neil Gillespie 
Messenger John Bernays 

Director Richard Eyre 
Conductor Dan Ettinger
Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London

VERDI: La Traviata
 
Violetta Valéry Ailyn Pérez
Alfredo Germont Stephen Costello 
Giorgio Germont Simon Keenlyside
Baron Douphol Ashley Riches
Doctor Grenvil Jihoon Kim
Flora Bervoix Nadezhda Karyazina 
Marquis D'Obigny Charbel Mattar
Gastone de Letorières David Butt Philip  
Annina Gaynor Keeble
Giuseppe Neil Gillespie 
Messenger John Bernays 

Director Richard Eyre 
Conductor Dan Ettinger
Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London

VERDI: La Traviata
 
Violetta Valéry Ailyn Pérez
Alfredo Germont Stephen Costello 
Giorgio Germont Simon Keenlyside
Baron Douphol Ashley Riches
Doctor Grenvil Jihoon Kim
Flora Bervoix Nadezhda Karyazina 
Marquis D'Obigny Charbel Mattar
Gastone de Letorières David Butt Philip  
Annina Gaynor Keeble
Giuseppe Neil Gillespie 
Messenger John Bernays 

Director Richard Eyre 
Conductor Dan Ettinger
Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

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Press

Massenet

Manon

Royal Opera House Covent Garden

"her tone is brightly focused and winning...By the time she got to the gambling den of the Hotel de Transylvanie...she had found her stride, a glamorous demi-mondaine to the life, standing out of the crowd. And her waif-like appearance and plangent singing on the road to Le Havre were truly heart-rending. With Emmanuel Villaume bringing authentic French flavour to Massenet's score and coaxing idiomatic performances from his American principals, this was altogether a more satisfactory and enjoyable performance than the 'international' star-studded initial run two seasons ago" Hugh Canning, Opera, April 2014

Puccini

Turandot

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

"There’s a distinguished role debut from Ailyn Pérez as Liu: her luscious, fruity timbre is perfect for Puccini and you completely succumb as her voice tingles up the stave." Neil Fisher, The Times, February 19, 2014
"Ailyn Perez made a sensational role debut as the slave girl Liu. Using her diminutive physique to her advantage, she cut a tragic figure on stage and used her bright and agile soprano voice to telling effect. As is often the case with this role, she was awarded the biggest ovation of the evening." Keith McDonnell, What's on Stage, 18th February, 2014
"Yet, not for the first time, the show was stolen by the petite lyric soprano as the adorably self-sacrificing slave girl Liu. Ailyn Perez is currently a house favourite, and one could see why: she combines a limpid yet glowing voice with an attractive stage personality and aside from a tiny glitch at the end of “Signore, ascolta”, she floated pianissimi above the stave with spine-tingling ease." Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 18th February 2014
"Ailyn Pérez sings with caressing warmth and stylishness as the self-sacrificing slave girl Liù." Warwick Thompson, The Metro, February 18th 2014

Wall Street Journal article about Stephen and Ailyn

Ailyn and Stephen interview

New York

Wall Street Journal article Elisabeth Braw, 23 January 2014

Tucker Gala

Avery Fisher Hall

"The soprano Ailyn Pérez gave a tastefully restrained rendition of Charpentier’s “Depuis le jour,” from “Louise,” in which subtle changes in intensity created a watercolor-like effect. In a deliciously comic scene with her husband and fellow Tucker Prize recipient, Stephen Costello, she showed her sassy side, as Norina played hard to get in “Esulti pur la Barbara,” from “L’Elisir d’Amore.” Each revealed a perfect grasp of comic timing in acting and singing." Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times, 18 November 2013

Verdi

Falstaff - Alice Ford

Glyndebourne Festival Opera

"The American soprano Ailyn Pérez, who won the 2012 Richard Tucker prize, was making her Glyndebourne debut as Alice Ford, and her creamy, lustrous tone and confident stage presence were ideally suited to this part, as indeed they would be to any of Verdi’s great lyric soprano roles; expect to hear much more from this already very polished artist." OMH review, May 2013
"Ailyn Perez’s feisty Alice is a joy, and her voice combines beautifully with Lucia Cirillo’s Meg" The Arts Desk, May 2013
"Standing out from this fine ensemble, though, was the Alice Ford of Ailyn Pérez, a simply glorious Verdian soprano whose star quality at Glyndebourne proved mesmerising even in the moments when she sang from the wings. Pérez’s soaring, bejewelled lines will live long in the memory and the prospect of following her career in years to come is something to savour." Mark Valencia, Classical Souce, May 2013

CD: Poeme d'un jour (Opus Arte)

Rosenblatt Recital Series

Poème d’un jour
Ailyn Pérez, soprano; Iain Burnside, piano (Opus Arte)
 
"Countless women sing the repertoire that Ailyn Pérez performs in opera houses: Mimì in "La Bohème," Violetta in "La Traviata," the Countess in "The Marriage of Figaro." But only a few who bring something extraordinary to those roles achieve recognition that goes far beyond the typical opera sphere. Pérez, who won the 2012 Richard Tucker Award, should be next on that list.

On a recording of French and Spanish music, Pérez displays a powerful, distinctive tone that is both deep and rosy. She can evoke the feeling of breathless spontaneity and then slip easily, magically up to a soft, exquisitely controlled high note. Two arias from Massenet’s "Manon" show a role to which she is well-suited. The lushness of her voice fits romantic songs by Reynaldo Hahn and the title set by Gabriel Fauré, which she sings sensitively. She also brings character, agility and rich colorings to songs by Joaquin Turina, Fernando Obradors and Manuel de Falla. Iain Burnside provides lively, proficient accompaniment throughout."

Ronni Reich, New Jersey News
International Record Review Mark Pullinger, June 2013
"There’s a hint of Victoria de los Angeles in the programming and the style of this lovely young American soprano, currently lighting up the stage as Alice Ford in Falstaff at Glyndebourne. Any singer who begins a recital with Hahn’s exquisite neo-baroque A Chloris gets my vote, especially when she sings it with such artless affection. Her Fauré group, Poème d’un jour, is delectably suggestive. Perez’s Spanish sounds entirely idiomatic in Obradors, Turina and Falla. In the Seven Popular Spanish Songs, she rivals de los Angeles with her alternately seductive and anguished manner. Better, though, to have tracked the delicious Manon excerpts as encores." 

Ailyn Perez (soprano), Iain Burnside (piano)
Opus Arte OACD9013D

HC, The Sunday Times, 2 June 2013

Verdi

Requiem

La Maison Symphonique de Montréal

"Soprano Ailyn Pérez (a replacement this evening) was given her chance to shine in the Libera me which brings this work to a close. When she sang alone with the chorus, it was absolutely captivating – such sweet, delicate expressiveness perfectly suited the close of this work. When the final notes died away Nézet-Séguin waited in hushed reverence – was it fifteen seconds or five minutes?"

Andrew Crust

Verdi

La Traviata - Violetta

Cincinnati Opera

"A strikingly beautiful woman, Perez is eminently suited to Violetta, not only physically but vocally. Her dark tinged voice conveys tragedy, and she has the flexibility to bring off "Sempre libera" which she capped with an E-flat on opening night. It was in the subsequent acts, though, that she particularly excelled, spinning out a thread of sound in "Dite alla giovine" and summoning powerful desparation in he pleas to Alfredo that he love her. Perez's voice took on a appropriate pallor in the final act, regaining vibrancy in the imagined recovery of her final movements"

 

Opera News, October 2012

Verdi

La Traviata - Violetta

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

"The latest cast change, heralding a run of performances over the Christmas period, is first-rate, with an ideal Violetta in Ailyn Perez. The bewitching young American soprano puts her heart into every twist of the drama, from the impetuousness of her love for Alfredo - the world-class Polish tenor Piotr Beczala..to the febrile emergency of her death...her performance was glorious, the quiet passages magical."

The Observer, November 2011
"Poplavskaya is a hard act to follow, but Pérez was tried and tested in the Royal Opera’s tour to Japan just over a year ago, and she has now made the part very much her own...The intense joy and the heavy grief of her music is embodied in a soprano that is supple and strong enough to sustain long passages in the most eloquent and perfectly controlled half-voice...Piotr Beczala, her personable and powerful Alfredo." The Times, November 2011

Placido Domingo Gala

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

"an entrancing Gilda (Ailyn Perez, in a deserved Covent Garden debut)." The Sunday Times, November 2011

Gounod

Romeo et Juliette - Juliette

Opera Company of Philadelphia

"But the chief attraction is the casting of America's fastest-rising husband-and-wife opera stars in the title roles: tenor Stephen Costello and soprano Ailyn Perez. Young, attractive singers who are proud alumnae of the Academy's training program, they made the performance a memorable one...
 
Perez's lyric soprano is pure and honeyed in tone, and she deploys it with elegance and tenderness...
 
In the four duets Gounod wrote for the star-crossed lovers, her voice blended together beautifully with Costello's.
 
Perez is also a natural actress, embodying both Juliette's girlish high spirits and her growing maturity under the influence of love."
Associated Press, February 2011

"Pérez captured the persona, with insouciance and glamor. Her voice has coloratura brightness (she was an excellent Lucia when she was a student at the Academy of Vocal Arts) and richer color than ever before."

Opera Critic, February 2011

Recordings

Poème d’un jour

Hot on the heels of winning the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, “huge star in the making” Ailyn Pérez releases her debut solo CD for Opus Arte. 

This debut solo CD for Opus Arte, Poème d’un jour, comprises a mixture of studio and live recordings from Ailyn Perez’s memorable London Rosenblatt Recital in March 2012. Accompanied by Iain Burnside at the piano, Ailyn presents Spanish and French art song (including music by Hahn, Obradors, De Falla and Faure) as well as arias from Massenet’s Manon, a role which she performs at Covent Garden next season. The CD goes on sale internationally on April 23 and in the U.S. on May 28.
Opus Arte