This Week in Classical Music w/Randy Kinkel 4/14/19



Marathoner Wins Tucker Prize; 

New Violin Design



It’s “This Week in Classical Music”—an update on what’s happening in the classical music world—I’m Randy Kinkel.


The bright-voiced American soprano Lisette Oropesa — who is known for singing bel canto onstage and running marathons offstage — has been awarded the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, the prize’s administrators announced on Monday.

The award, which comes with $50,000 and the opportunity to headline a starry celebratory gala at Carnegie Hall on Oct. 27, is among the most sought-after prizes for young American opera singers. Many of its past recipients have gone on to stardom.

Ms. Oropesa, 35, is one of the few opera singers who have been featured in both Opera News and Runner’s world.

 which reported on her 2015 feat of running the Pittsburgh Marathon the morning after starring in a production of Donizetti’s “La Fille du Régiment.” 


Born in New Orleans to parents from Cuba, Ms. Oropesa played the flute as a child and studied vocal performance at Louisiana State University. She trained in the Metropolitan Opera’s young artists program and sang her first big role there, Susanna in Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro,” when she was just 22. She has appeared at the Met more than 100 times and will return next season to star in Massenet’s “Manon” and Verdi’s “La Traviata.”

Previous winners of the Tucker Award include Renée Fleming, Lawrence Brownlee, Christine Goerke, Joyce DiDonato, Michael Fabiano and Jamie Barton.



The ‘Santa Cecilia’ violin was unveiled at the Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Musical Instruments.

A new violin design emerging from the lutherie course at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome was demonstrated for the first time last week at the 22nd  Symposium of the ICTM Study Group on Musical Instruments in Lisbon.

Under the banner ‘Beyond Stradivari: The New Santa Cecilia Violin’, the presentation was lead by professors Massimo de Bonfils and Mauro Fabretti.

Bonfils has lead the research element of the project, with Fabretti leading on design and construction.

The instrument's key deviations from traditional violin design are:

  • Asymmetric shape designed to allow greater facility in high positions
  • Additional harmonic holes, which the team behind the violin claims offer superior acoustic performance.
  • Additional soundpost and modified bass-bar shape
  • Increased overall dimensions of the upper and lower bouts


For more on these and other items and events, go to the website, kbach dot org; be listening every week at this time for another update;  find us on FB and follow us on twitter and Instagram; and remember to check out the Most Wanted Hour, playing your top 100 classical picks.  I’m Randy Kinkel, for “This Week in Classical Music”.