On the night of last year’s Richard Tucker Gala, 2012 laureate Ailyn Pérez stepped out at the evening’s onset to sing the familiar, coquettish gavotte from Massenet’s Manon. It was an apt entrance for the soprano, who fetchingly delivered “Je marche sur tous les chemins” and “Obéissons quand leur voix appelle” with a self-possessed confidence. She imbued Manon with just the right amount of love for the idea of who her character has become, with an additional layer of doubt beneath the deluge of live-in-the-moment bravado in “Obéissons.”
But while Pérez, like Manon, is one to savor such moments as they come—her Twitter feed that evening teemed with Instagram photos from backstage—she also has her eye firmly trained on the future. “There’s a 30-year plan,” she says as a car service whisks her, her husband Stephen Costello, me, and the couple’s dog to JFK. She’s due to be in Miami and Costello’s on his way to Berlin; coincidentally, they’re both traveling to sing Bohème. ...
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