Each year, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation awards the Sara Tucker Study Grant to singers, selected through a vocal competition, who are recently out of the university or conservatory and are considered to be at the beginning of promising careers. This year’s recipients include two recent UC College-Conservatory of Music alumnae: Kayleigh Decker (MM Voice, 2017) and Jessica Faselt (MM Voice, 2016).
Mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker began her 2018-19 season as an ensemble member of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Her mainstage work in the company’s season includes Dorothée in Cendrillon and Cretan Woman No. 2 in Idomeneo, both under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis. She also covers Idamante in Idomeneo and Prince Charmant in Cendrillon. The 2017-18 season included two title role debuts for Decker: La Cenerentola with Queen City Opera, and Ariodante with CCM Opera. She was also a Schwab Vocal Rising Star with Caramoor and the New York Festival of Song. Decker has been a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Utah Festival Opera and the Houston Grand Opera Young Artists Vocal Academy. At Carnegie Hall, as a part of the Weill Music Institute, she has been a participant in the Joyce DiDonato Masterclass Series, as well as in the inaugural SongStudio, under the auspices of Renée Fleming. Decker has received awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the MacDowell Society, the Three Arts Scholarship Fund and the CCM Opera Scholarship Competition. She was awarded the Faustina Hurlbutt Grant and the Louis and Marguerite Bloomberg Greenwood Grant from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
American soprano Jessica Faselt hails from Iowa. She is currently in her first year of the Lindemann Young Artist Program at the Metropolitan Opera, where she made her debut as the Novice in Puccini’s Suor Angelica and her Met: Live in HDdebut as Helmwige in Wagner’s Die Walküre. Opera Index recently awarded her the Tito Cappobiano Memorial Award. Faselt was a winner of the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, performing with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in the Grand Final Concert. As a Studio Artist at Florida Grand Opera, she covered the title roles of Richard Strauss’s Salome and Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas. She was a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, covering the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos. Faselt completed her masters degree at CCM where she was the recipient of the prestigious Corbett Award, and received her bachelor of music from the University of Iowa with honors.
You can learn more about current and past grant recipients here.
About the Richard Tucker Music Foundation
Founded in 1975, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation is a non-profit cultural organization that honors the artistic legacy of the great American tenor through support of talented American opera singers and by bringing opera into the community.
The Foundation seeks to heighten appreciation for opera by offering free performances in the New York Metropolitan area and by supporting music education enrichment programs.
Through an awards program that offers grants for study, performance opportunities and other career-enhancing activities the Foundation provides professional development for singers at several levels of career-readiness. Learn more by visiting https://richardtucker.org/.
Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle