Denyce Graves received the Opera News Award on the 3 April 2022 for her contributions to the opera world and classical music. The other honourees were Quinn Kelsey and Elza van den Heever. Hosted at the Plaza Hotel, this year was the seventeenth annual awards ceremony and marked the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s return to live, in-person events.
Senior Editor of Opera News, Louise T. Guinther writes, “My first sight of her was at an early-career concert performance as Dalila at the Ravinia Festival. It was clear from the start that she was destined for greatness. When she walked onstage, flanked by her far-more-famous costars(…)all eyes were fixed on her voluptuous form, sheathed in dazzling yellow-gold satin. Her seductive stage presence, sexy, sultry and sensuous, made her the ideal temptress. But it was when she opened her mouth and began to dazzle our ears with her rich, effortlessly resonant sound and long,luscious legato lines that the full magic took hold(…)The combination of that luxurious, impeccably trained voice and her straightforward, unfussy communicative powers allows her to explore a huge range of repertoire, encompassing spirituals and new music as well as opera classics, with equal comfort and freedom(…)Mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves has made her mark on the world of opera and beyond, not only through her unique vocal artistry but as an eloquent ambassador for the arts, a dedicated educator and a champion of America’s underrepresented cultural heritage.”
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Photo credit: Devon Cass