Bryan Hymel, singing Pinkerton in the upcoming New Orleans Opera production of Madame Butterfly, has been named the recipient of the eighth annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera. The $50,000 award, the largest of its kind in the United States, is designated for extraordinarily gifted singers between the ages of 25 and 40 who have already appeared in featured solo roles at the Met. Bryan was presented with the award at the Met March 25 by Muffy Greenough, daughter of Beverly Sills.
“I am honored and humbled to receive the Beverly Sills Artist Award. I have always admired Ms. Sills’ unparalleled performing career, consummate artistry, and exceptionally giving and successful work in arts administration, and I am grateful to be associated with such an extraordinary legacy,” Bryan said. “Her commanding vocalism and grace onstage were an inspiration for me in my unexpected Met debut this year. I offer sincere thanks to the Agnes Varis Trust, Peter Gelb, and the talented staff of the Metropolitan Opera.”
The Sills Award was created to help further recipients’ careers, including funding for voice lessons, vocal coaching, language lessons, related travel costs, and other professional assistance. 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 rising singers. The 33-year-old American tenor is the eighth recipient of the award, following baritone Nathan Gunn in 2006, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato in 2007, tenor Matthew Polenzani in 2008, bass John Relyea in 2009, soprano Susanna Phillips in 2010, mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard in 2011, and soprano Angela Meade in 2012.
Earlier this season Bryan made his Met debut, singing the demanding role of Aeneas in a rare revival of Berlioz’s epic Les Troyens. Bryan’s performances, which were also transmitted worldwide as part of the Met’s Live in HD series, were met with great acclaim from both critics and audiences alike. The New Orleans-born tenor will return to the Met in January 2014 to sing the role of Pinkerton in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.