2016 Richard Tucker Award Recipient
Manager: Damon Bristo
Management Territory: Worldwide
“It's not often you think you detect a future Brünnhilde in a soprano performing a great Verdi role, but that was the case when American Tamara Wilson made her UK debut last autumn as a stunning Leonora in the ENO production of Verdi's The Force of Destiny. So would she sing the Ring? Not for 10 years at least, she said. But then Mark Wigglesworth, a conductor she knew she could trust as partner, proposed the final scene of Die Walküre at the Proms, and the rest should go down in history… You couldn’t fault her in verbal intelligence, subtlety and every readable reaction in that beautiful face when she wasn’t singing; but above all it’s the placement of the extraordinary instrument, never too low that it makes any singing in the higher register effortful, which should see her through to a sustained career in the big Wagner roles (though there’s no reason why she shouldn’t keep on singing Mozart and bel canto too).” David Nice, The Arts Desk, July 24, 2016 - Act 3 of 'Die Walküre' at the BBC Proms
“And in the American soprano Tamara Wilson as Leonora, ENO have struck gold: I can’t remember when this auditorium last resounded to a major Verdi role sung with such majestic beauty. Wilson has the power to ride effortlessly over the chorus singing fortissimo, and the artistry to create sublime magic with her harp-accompanied closing aria.” Michael Church, The Independent, November 10, 2015 - Leonora in 'La forza del destino' at the English National Opera
“There was also a great rapport among the equally spectacular - and very young - alternative cast led by another American, the soprano Tamara Wilson (winner of the 2011 Viñas award), who debuted in the difficult role of Norma and had a triumphant run thanks to her enormous and intact talent, fearless attitude, theatrical phrasing and confident acting; to finish this successfully from the challenge is not possible in the hands of many, but the soprano from Houston achieved it with honors.” Pablo Melendez Haddad, ABC, February 10, 2015 - Title role in 'Norma' at Gran Teatre del Liceu
“Ms. Wilson’s voice is most arresting in the laserlike authority of her high notes, but she softens the steel for sensitive moments, as when she dreams of escape with Radames in the third act. Her voice blooms with her palpable involvement in her own story: Her singing is urgent, her physical performance restrained yet powerful…[T]he Met has unveiled a young American who sings Verdi with a passion that surpasses stereotype.” Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, December 30, 2014 - Metropolitan Opera debut as Aida
“Another soprano who won big ovations, and deservedly so, was [Tamara] Wilson, who proved her splendid Elettra in Conlon's "Idomeneo" here in 2012 was no fluke. Her Anna came on like a veritable force of nature, her huge, gleaming, dramatic soprano absolutely nailing both arias. Her Ottavio, the fine Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu, had all he could do to match Wilson's lava-flow vocalism in their scenes…” John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, August 16, 2014 - Donna Anna in 'Don Giovanni' with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia
American soprano Tamara Wilson is rapidly gaining notoriety for her interpretations of Verdi, Mozart, and Strauss with a voice that is a “veritable force of nature.” (Chicago Tribune) She is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
Tamara Wilson makes a number of important debuts in the 2016-2017 season: her Bayerische Staatsoper debut and Zurich Opera debut with Fabio Luisi as Elisabetta di Valois in Don Carlo, as well as her Deutsche Oper Berlin debut as Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, a . . . role she will also sing at Florida Grand Opera in Miami. She returns to Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu as Leonora in Il trovatore, her first performances as Elvira in Ernani conducted by Daniel Oren at Théâtre du Capitole, and debuts in Amsterdam as Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari with the Netherlands Radio Orchestra. Following her triumph in Act 3 of Die Walküre with Mark Wiggleworth and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Ms. Wilson returns to the BBC Proms for Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with Marin Alsop and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment which will be recorded commercially. She also sings the Verdi Requiem with the Orchestra de Lyon under Leonard Slatkin. She makes her Atlanta Symphony debut in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony conducted by Robert Spano, North Carolina Symphony debut in Britten’s War Requiem, Malaysian Philharmonic debut conducted by Mark Wigglesworth in Verdi and Wagner, and a return to the Oregon Symphony for Mahler’s Symphony No. 2. Ms. Wilson adds to her Wagner and Strauss repertoire when she sings Wagner’s Wesendonck-Lieder with the Milwaukee Symphony conducted by Asher Fish, Strauss’ rarity Friedenstag with the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall, and Act 3 of Die Walküre for her debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev.
In the 2015 – 2016 season, Ms. Wilson made her London debut in Calixto Bieto’s new production of La forza del destino at the English National Opera. She returned to Oper Frankfurt as Elisabetta in Don Carlo and Teatro Municipal de Santiago as Lucrezia Contarini in I due Foscari. She also inaugurated the new opera house in Kyoto, Japan with Seiji Ozawa as Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus. In concert, Ms. Wilson performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Marin Alsop and Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo to be released for commercial recording, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Osmo Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra, Verdi’s Messa da requiem with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Donald Runnicles at the Grand Teton Music Festival. Ms. Wilson also returns to Cincinnati for her first performances of Desdemona in Verdi’s Otello with James Conlon and the Cincinnati Symphony at the May Festival.
Tamara Wilson made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Aida and Grant Teatre del Liceu debut in the demanding title role of Norma in the 2014 – 2015 season, both to great critical acclaim. She returned to Oper Frankfurt for her first performances as the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten which was just released by Oehms Classics. In concert, she returned to the Ravinia Festival as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni under James Conlon and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a role she also debuted with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony. Ms. Wilson debuted with the Cleveland Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under Franz Welser-Möst, the National Symphony in Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 (“Lobgesang”) with Matthew Halls and returned to the Baltimore Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with Marin Alsop.
Tamara Wilson added a new Verdi heroine to her repertoire when she returns to Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse as Lucrezia Contarini in Verdi’s I due Foscari in the 2013 – 2014 season. In celebration of the Verdi bicentenary, she also debuted at Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville as Aida and with Washington Concert Opera in his rarely-heard Il corsaro as Gulnara alongside tenor Michael Fabiano as Corrado. She was heard in Britten’s War Requiem with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop, as well as with James Conlon and the Colburn Orchestra as part of the Britten 100/LA celebration. Other concert engagements included Broch’s Moses with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.
Other notable engagements include Elisabeth de Valois in the five-act French Don Carlos at Houston Grand Opera; Amelia in Un ballo in maschera at Washington National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Teatre Principal de Maó in Menorca, Spain; Leonora in Il trovatore at Houston Grand Opera, Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse under Daniel Oren and Palma de Mallorca, Spain; Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus at the Canadian Opera Company; Alice Ford in Falstaff for her debut with Washington National Opera; Amelia Grimaldi in Simon Boccanegra at the Canadian Opera Company; the title role in Aida at Opera Australia; her German debut at Oper Frankfurt in concert performances of Wagner’s early opera Die Feen as Ada under Sebastian Weigle; Elettra in Idomeneo under Harry Bicket at the Canadian Opera Company and under James Conlon at the Ravinia Festival; Lady Billows in Albert Herring at Théâtre du Capitole; Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail at Houston Grand Opera; Malwina in Marschner’s Der Vampyr with the American Symphony Orchestra; Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw and the First Lady in Die Zauberflöte at Los Angeles Opera, both under James Conlon.
On the concert stage, Ms. Wilson made her Carnegie Hall debut with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under Marin Alsop in Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher, as well as appeared with the Saint Louis Symphony in Handel’s Messiah, Charlotte Symphony in Beethoven’s Missa solemnis, and returned to the Oregon Bach Festival in Tippett’s A Child of Our Time. Recently, she has been soprano soloist for performances of Missa solemnis with John Nelson and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in Lisbon, which is available on DVD, as well as Mozart’s Requiem with Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2 (“Lobgesang”) with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. A favorite of the Oregon Bach Festival, she debuted in Verdi’s Messa da requiem under Helmuth Rilling for the opening of their 40th Anniversary season, subsequently returning for the same piece in Mo. Rilling’s final season as music director. She then returned to sing Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 under Rilling, Marguerite in Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher under Marin Alsop, At the Oregon Bach Festival, and a concert of Verdi, Britten, and Wagner with Matthew Hall. She has toured Japan with Helmuth Rilling and Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.
An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Ms. Wilson’s awards include the George London Award from the George London Foundation in which she was hailed for a “striking timbre all her own” (Opera News), as well as both a career grant in 2011 and study grant in 2008 from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. Other notable awards include first place in the 2005 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers in Houston and finalist in the 2004 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, among others. She was a featured soloist at the 2010 NEA Opera Honors in which she sang “Ernani, involami” from Verdi’s Ernani to honor recipient Martina Arroyo. In addition to her operatic and orchestral performances, Ms. Wilson is an avid lecturer of vocal technique. She has been a Guest Master Class Lecturer for the National Pastoral Musicians in the Chicago area. Ms. Wilson received her degree at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music.
(Updated November 2016)
News & Critical Acclaim
- Proms 2016 - Giuseppe Verdi - Requiem [Marin Alsop, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment]
- Video used with kind permission from Opera Australia. Footage from 2009 production of Aida
- Photo: Stacey Dershem
- Photo: Stacey Dershem
- Photo: Stacey Dershem
- Photo: Stacey Dershem
- Photo: Stacey Dershem