James Valenti, graduate of West Virginia University’s music program, followed up his successful debut at the Metropolitan Opera by winning the 2010 Richard Tucker Award, the “Heisman Trophy of Opera.”

Valenti was chosen as this year’s recipient by a distinguished panel of opera professionals. Named in honor of the great American tenor, Richard Tucker, the award recognizes an American singer poised on the edge of a major international opera career.

“I am so surprised, elated and completely humbled to receive this prestigious award,” Valenti said in accepting the award. “What an honor to be listed among so many esteemed singers who have been selected for the Richard Tucker Award in the past.

“It certainly has been quite a month with my Metropolitan Opera debut, and to be recognized in this fashion is the cherry on top of a very big sundae.”

The Richard Tucker Music Foundation sponsors the $30,000 award, which has been given since 1978. Previous recipients include Ren�e Fleming, Deborah Voigt, David Daniels, Stephanie Blythe, Joyce DiDonato, Matthew Polenzani and Lawrence Brownlee.

For more information, visit http://www.richardtucker.org/.



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