Tenor James Valenti wins Richard Tucker Award

In this March 25, 2010 photo, James Valenti performs as Alferdo Germont during the final dress rehearsal of Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata" at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

April 15, 2010 6:33:34 PM PDT
Tenor James Valenti has won the Richard Tucker award, given annually to an American singer thought to be on the verge of a major opera career.

The 32-year-old from New Jersey made his Metropolitan Opera debut on March 29 as Alfredo in Verdi's "La Traviata." He is to make his Royal Opera debut in July in the same role and his Paris Opera debut in September as Pinkerton in Puccini's "Madama Butterfly."

He has appeared as Rodolfo in Puccini's "Lo Boheme" at Milan's Teatro alla Scala, Pinkerton at the San Francisco Opera and Alfredo at the Salzburg Festival in Austria. Last year, he was selected the Dallas Opera's debut artist of the year.

Valenti receives a $30,000 prize.

Past winners include Stephanie Blythe, Lawrence Brownlee, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Renee Fleming, Matthew Polenzani and Deborah Voigt.