April 10, 2018
The 2018 Richard Tucker Music Foundation Award winner is bass-baritone Christian Van Horn. The singer, who received a Sara Tucker study grant in 2003, is also the first bass-baritone to win the $50,000 award since 2003.
Van Horn is well known to S.F. Opera fans for his performances at the War Memorial Opera House from 2010-2015, including a 2014-15 season when he practically owned the place, appearing as Colline (La Boheme), Alidoro (La Cenerentola), Narbal (Les Troyens), Oroveso (Norma), Fedor von Bock in the world premiere of Two Women, and Sam (Count Horn), in Un ballo in maschera. He’s also sung Messiah with the S.F. Symphony. Having just completed a run as Mephistopheles in Gounod’s Faust at the Chicago Lyric Opera, an HD broadcast of Falstaff with the Metropolitan Opera, and recorded the title role for a Sony Classical recording of Le nozze di Figaro, he is more than on the threshold of stardom. But he’s clearly not yet at his zenith and there are many more roles and performances to come.
Richard Tucker Career Grants are arguably more influential on the careers of the artists who receive them, and this year’s winners include soprano Samantha Hankey who, as a Merola Program participant, sang the title role in 2017’s Merola production of La Cenerentola.
Sara Tucker Study Grants went to tenor Eric Ferring (currently a Resident Artist with Pittsburgh Opera), baritone Theo Hoffmann (of the Los Angeles Opera’s Domingo-Coburn-Stein Young Artist Program), bass David Leigh (Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera), tenor Brian Michael Moore (former Merola program participant, now in the Domingo-Coburn-Stein program), Gabriella Reyes de Ramirez (Lindemann program), Zoie Reams (studio artist with the Houston Grand Opera), and current Adler Fellow Kyle van Schoonhoven.