By Suzanne Calvin
The Dallas Opera is proud to announce the winner of the 2019 “Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year” Award: the incredible, one-of-a-kind American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe (pictured at right), for her saucy, scene-stealing portrayal of Mistress Quickly in the critically-acclaimed spring production of Verdi’s “Falstaff.”
This prestigious award, named after one of the most renowned opera artists of the 20th century, is given to a single performer each season in recognition of a particularly memorable and outstanding company debut. The winner was announced at the annual Dallas Opera Board and Trustee Appreciation Dinner held in the Crescent Ballroom of the Hotel Crescent Court in Dallas.
Blythe, Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year for 2009, was recently named the next Artistic Director of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at Bard College Conservatory of Music — a position she assumes in July. Other major awards for the accomplished and beloved singer include the 2007 Opera News Award (the youngest artist ever to receive this honor) and the 1999 Richard Tucker Award.
Blythe (The Phyllis A. McCasland and Thomas H. McCasland, Jr. Lead Soloist for The Dallas Opera’s 2018-2019 Season) will receive a beautiful etched-crystal plaque created by award-winning designers from Tiffany & Co. for The Dallas Opera. This plaque bears the likeness of The Dallas Opera’s unofficial “Godmother,” iconic Greek soprano Maria Callas.