Mezzo Jamie Barton Receives $50K Richard Tucker Award

By Stephen Raskauskas |

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Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton was just named the recipient of the 2015 Richard Tucker Award, a prestigious honor conferred annually by a panel of opera industry professionals on an American singer at the threshold of a major international career.

Called the “Heisman Trophy of Opera,” the award comes with a substantial prize of $50,000.

Previous winners have included Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, David Daniels, Stephanie Blythe, Angela Meade, and Lawrence Brownlee.

Before receiving the Tucker Award, Barton, a Georgia native, has won many competitions and highly coveted awards.

In 2007, she was a winner at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was featured in The Audition, a documentary film about the competition.

In 2013, she won both the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition as well as the Competition’s Song Prize. Before Barton, Romanian tenor Marius Brenciu is the only singer to have won both awards.

In 2014, Barton received the Marian Anderson Award from the Kennedy Center.

In a statement issued by the Tucker Foundation Barton said, “I don’t think I’ve ever been as speechless as I was when Barry Tucker called me to give me the news that I’d won the Richard Tucker Award.”

The Foundation, which awarded Barton a $10,000 Career Grant in 2012, “has been a musical family for me for years now, and to be given its top prize is an absolute honor,” she added.

The President of the Foundation, Barry Tucker said, “I first heard Jamie Barton at the 2012 Tucker auditions when she sang ‘O mio Fernando’ from Donizetti’s La Favorita – she gave me goose-bumps…When I heard her, I thought to myself: ‘This is a once-in-a-generation voice.’”

Barton made her professional debut in Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ production of La traviata in the role of Annina.

Chicago audiences heard her during the 2014-15 season in the role of Giovanna Seymour in Anna Bolena at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.