Baritone Quinn Kelsey Receives Tenth Annual
Beverly Sills Artist Award
New York, NY (February 27, 2015) – Baritone Quinn Kelsey has been named the recipient of the tenth 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. The award, given in honor of Beverly Sills, was established in 2006 by an endowment gift from the late Agnes Varis, a managing director on the Met board. Kelsey was presented with the award at the Met today by General Manager Peter Gelb.
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 36-year-old Kelsey is the tenth 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, soprano Angela Meade in 2012, tenor Brian Hymel in 2013, and tenor Michael Fabiano in 2014.
“I’m so very honored to be selected for the 2015 Beverly Sills Artist Award,” Kelsey said. “Growing up in a musical home, I came to associate opera and classical music with a few great artists, one of whom of course was Beverly Sills—she’s one of the artists who, in my mind, set a standard for classical singing. And so I couldn’t be prouder to accept this award given in honor of her and her legacy.”
A native of Honolulu, Hawaii, Kelsey made his Met debut in 2008 as Schaunard in La Bohème. This season he sang the role of the role of Marcello in La Bohème in September and October and was then called in on short notice to sing Giorgio Germont in La Traviata in December and January opposite rising soprano stars Marina Rebeka and Sonya Yoncheva. He also sings Germont in Zurich and Toronto later this season and the title role in Rigoletto at this summer’s Santa Fe Festival. Last fall he sang another Verdi role, di Luna in Il Trovatore, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Kelsey returns to the Met next season to reprise his Marcello in La Bohème.