New York The Metropolitan Opera has established the Beverly Sills Artist Award, a prize worth $50,000 for young opera singers.
The annual award, intended to aid career development, will be given to U.S. singers between ages 25 and 40 who have already appeared in featured solo roles with the opera company.
Sills sang for international audiences for more than three decades before retiring from the stage in 1980 at age 51. The Brooklyn-born singer later became an executive and leader of New York's performing arts community. She led Lincoln Center for eight years beginning in 1994 and was chairwoman of the Metropolitan Opera for two years before resigning in January.
The award will be funded by Agnes Varis, a managing director on the Met board, and her husband, Karl Leichtman.
Sills, 76, will chair the judging panel, which will include Nathan Leventhal, former president of Lincoln Center. The first recipient of the award will be announced in the latter part of the current opera season.