Ailyn Pérez Returns Home to Chicago for DON GIOVANNI at Ravinia, Now thru 8/16
Ailyn Pérez, born and bred in Chicago, returns to her hometown's famous Ravinia Festival for two performances (today, Aug 14, and the 16th) as Zerlina in Mozart's Don Giovanni - a role that the Dallas Morning News has said shows her to be "a singer of considerable nuance." LA Opera Music Director James Conlon leads the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the run, which also features baritone Christopher Maltman in the title role, baritone David Bizi? as Leporello, soprano Tamara Wilson as Donna Anna and tenor Saimir Pirgu as Don Ottavio. The Chicago Tribune praised Pérez's 2012 appearance at Ravinia, as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, as "show-stopping...all floating pianissimos and diminuendos and delicate pathos, which roused the sold-out crowd to a long, well-deserved ovation."
The soprano heads to Chicago after lauded performances in the title role of Verdi's La Traviata at San Francisco Opera, where, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, "The evening's brightest luminary was Ailyn Pérez, who embodied dying courtesan Violetta as a figure of glamour and vulnerability. Her singing was full-bodied and rich in color, with long-breathed phrases sumptuously sustained and an emotional depth to everything she undertook." San Francisco Classical Voice added its praise about Pérez's turn as Violetta, saying: "The star of the evening was Pérez. ... Her allure and ability to give herself over, body and soul, to Verdi's doomed heroine were so complete that it was hard to take your eyes off her." Many more eyes were on the soprano for the July 5 performance of La Traviata, which was shown in a live simulcast to an audience of more than 26,000 people at San Francisco's AT&T Park.
Pérez is having remarkable success on record, too. Love Duets, her debut album with tenor Stephen Costello (her husband and fellow Richard Tucker Award-winner), was an immediate hit on the UK Classical Chart upon its international release in May, and the success continued with its release in the U.S. last month, with Opera News writing: "Having conquered international opera stages both separately and together, they join forces here for a sublime collection of some of the most unabashedly romantic duets from opera and musical theater. Their chemistry is palpable and thrilling."
Looking ahead to the fall, Pérez will make her Houston Grand Opera debut and her role debut as Desdemona in Verdi's Otello on October 24, with further performances on October 26 and November 1, 4 and 7. The autumn will also bring some high-profile duo concerts with Stephen Costello, with shows on September 5, 10, 12 and 14 in San Diego, Washington DC, Philadelphia and Dallas, respectively. Winter brings another major debut, when Pérez will make her Metropolitan Opera debut and role debut as Micaëla in Bizet's Carmen on February 6, 2015, with further performances on February 9, 13 and 26, as well as March 4 and 7.