The Metropolitan Opera has named baritone Will Liverman the winner of the 2022 Beverly Sills Artist Award. The annual $50,000 award recognizes extraordinarily gifted singers with rising Met careers. Established in 2006 by an endowment gift from the late Agnes Varis, a former Met board member, the award is given in honor of the legendary American soprano Beverly Sills.
Liverman made his company debut in 2018 as Malcom Fleet in Nico Muhly’s Marnie and has since appeared in other notable Met premieres of contemporary works. During the 2019–20 season, he was part of the Grammy-winning cast of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, as Horemhab, a role that he will reprise this month. Liverman starred as Charles in Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up in My Bones, a landmark production that opened the 2021–22 season. He has also sung Papageno in Mozart’s The Magic Flute in 2020 and 2022. During the 2023–24 season, Liverman will star in the title role of Anthony Davis’s X: The Life and Times of Malcom X.
“I am so thankful to be named this year’s recipient of the Beverly Sills Award!” said Liverman. “It is an honor to be counted amongst the illustrious and talented roster of previous Sills Award recipients. Performing at the Met, particularly in the re-opening production of Fire Shut Up in My Bones this past fall, has been one of the great highlights of my career to date, and I look forward to future collaborations together.”
The Sills Award was created to help further the careers of rising stars by providing additional funding for vocal coaching, language study, travel costs, and other professional expenses. 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 important emerging singers.
Liverman follows an outstanding roster of previous winners: 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 Bryan Hymel in 2013, tenor Michael Fabiano in 2014, baritone Quinn Kelsey in 2015, soprano Ailyn Pérez in 2016, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton in 2017, soprano Nadine Sierra in 2018, soprano Lisette Oropesa in 2019, and soprano Angel Blue in 2020. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its devastating economic impact on singers, the 2021 Award was given to five recipients: sopranos Erin Morley and Brenda Rae, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, tenor Ben Bliss, and bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green.