Two honorees—conductor Lina González-Granados and bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee—are recognized for their artistic achievements
(Los Angeles) April 19, 2023 — LA Opera has announced the 2023 recipients of the Eva and Marc Stern Artist Award: conductor Lina González-Granados and bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee.
Now in its third year, the Stern Artist Award was established by two of LA Opera's greatest champions and most dedicated supporters, Eva and Marc Stern. The annual award celebrates and supports extraordinarily gifted artists who have made important contributions to the company's artistic profile. This year's $50,000 award (split between the two honorees) recognizes artists with deep ties to LA Opera and serves as an expression of gratitude for past and future artistic collaborations with the company.
Chairman of the company’s board of directors from 2002 to 2021, and now serving as Honorary Chairman, Marc Stern has been the driving force in bringing many of the world’s most influential artists to Los Angeles. The Sterns have been involved in nearly every aspect of LA Opera over many years, championing more than 15 ambitious projects including the Ring cycle, numerous new productions, and DVD releases of La Traviata (with Renée Fleming) and Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (with Audra McDonald and Patti LuPone). Through the Eva and Marc Stern Principal Artists Fund, which they established in 2017, they have underwritten the performances of Angel Blue in Tosca, Ana María Martínez in The Marriage of Figaro, Susan Graham in Hansel and Gretel and St. Matthew Passion, Audra McDonald in her 2018 concert with the LA Opera Orchestra, and Plácido Domingo in Nabucco, Don Carlo and his 50th Anniversary Concert. In recognition of their extraordinary longtime involvement and support of LA Opera and The Music Center, the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion was named in their honor in 2010.
"One of the things that Eva and I have treasured most about our close collaboration with LA Opera has been getting to know the company's gifted artists over time as their careers grow," said Marc Stern. "We are honored to count so many of them as our friends now, and we are continually awestruck by their incredible work ethic and their dedication to the art form. The world of opera may seem glamorous to most people, but we know that even a major international career in opera requires countless unavoidable sacrifices and expenses. This award is much more than just a prize; it will help the honorees pay for such necessities as diction and language studies, travel, concert wear and coaching. It's an honor for Eva and I to be able to give something back to these magnificent artists who have given so much to us through their performances."
The 2023 Honorees
Colombian-born conductor Lina González-Granados joined the LA Opera family in 2022 as Resident Conductor. She made her company debut in September conducting the season-opening production of Lucia di Lammermoor, followed by a January concert presentation of The Rape of Lucretia featuring a cast of singers from the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. Her future LA Opera appearances include the company premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s El último sueño de Frida y Diego and the world premiere of Joel Thompson's concert work Fire and Blue Sky, composed for tenor Russell Thomas. She has distinguished herself nationally and internationally as a gifted conductor of symphonic and operatic repertoire, with a special dedication to highlighting music by Latin-American composers. Locally, she has made recent debuts with both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Pasadena Symphony, in addition to appearing with orchestras worldwide. She is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Solti Conducting Apprentice, under the guidance of Riccardo Muti. Her engagements for the 2022/23 season include a return to the Seattle Symphony and debut appearances with Opera Philadelphia, Montreal's Orchestre Métropolitain and the Caramoor Festival, among many other appearances.
A member of the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program from 2014 to 2017, bass-baritone Nicholas Brownlee made his first LA Opera appearance in 2015, performing several roles in The Ghosts of Versailles. He has appeared in 10 productions with the company to date, including performances in the leading roles of Colline in La Bohème (2016 and 2019) and Nourabad in The Pearl Fishers (2017). He now sings leading roles in the world's major opera houses, with recent appearances as Henry VIII in Anna Bolena at the Vienna State Opera, Colline in La Bohème with the Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera and Munich's Bavarian State Opera, Wotan in Das Rheingold with Dallas Opera, and Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro, Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Kurwenal in Tristan und Isolde with Santa Fe Opera. Since 2020, he has been an ensemble member of the Frankfurt Opera, appearing there this season as Hans Sachs in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, the title role of Don Giovanni and the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen. His numerous previous roles there include Jochanaan in Salome and the title roles in Bluebeard's Castle and Karol Szymanowski's King Roger. His upcoming appearances include the title role of The Flying Dutchman with Santa Fe Opera, Kaspar in Der Freischütz at the Bavarian State Opera and Don Pizarro in Fidelio with the Dutch National Opera.
Learn more at LAOpera.org/SternAward.
Click here to hear directly from this year's honorees.
Click here to download photos of the 2023 recipients.
About LA Opera
Los Angeles is a city of enormous diversity and creativity, and LA Opera is dedicated to reflecting that vibrancy by redefining what opera can be. Through imaginative new productions, world premiere commissions, and inventive performances that preserve foundational works while making them feel fresh and compelling, LA Opera has become one of America’s most exciting and ambitious opera companies.
In addition to its mainstage performances at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the company explores unusual repertoire each season through the LA Opera Off Grand initiative, featuring performances in a variety of venues throughout Los Angeles. The LA Opera Connects initiative offers a robust variety of educational programming and community engagement offerings that reaches people throughout every corner of Los Angeles County. The company also offers a multitude of online content via its LA Opera On Now digital offerings, which launched in 2020. Learn more at LAOpera.org.
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