Happy 100th Birthday to American Tenor Richard Tucker

Richard Tucker

The Magnificent Richard Tucker

Richard Tucker was unquestionably America’s greatest tenor. As with many of his contemporaries, the Second World War gave him the opportunity to establish himself in this country, and for the next quarter of a century, no one surpassed this native son in terms of voice, commitment, integrity, and devotion to the lyric art. His standing in his community, both civic and devotional, equaled his renown in the world of music, and his standards are the level by which all are now judged.

Deeply religious, Richard Tucker brought the same compelling feeling to all of his efforts – be they his 724 performances with the Metropolitan Opera in New York and on tour; his extensive catalogue of recordings – classical, popular, religious; his never ending work on behalf of Israel, or his knowledge of himself and his place as a model citizen, artist, and ideal for succeeding generations of singers and Americans, both here and abroad.

He was more than a great singer; he was a great man.

– Merle Hubbard



Richard Tucker 2



Richard Tucker 3

His wife accompanied him to every operatic performance he gave and would always wait in the wings, and accompany him back to his dressing room.

When he died, a funeral service was held for him on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House. The service ended with the stage bare, except for Tucker’s coffin, as the curtain came down on him for the final time.

August 28, 2013 – Richard Tucker Day

On Wednesday August 28, we will be celebrating Richard Tucker’s 100th Birthday and Mayor Michael Bloomberg has designated it Richard Tucker Day. There will be several events celebrating the event but the highlights of the days will be a very distinguished afternoon panel discussion about Richard Tucker and his legacy at Julliard and an evening concert at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park. All events are free and open to the public.

At 4:00pm at the The Julliard School’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Renée Fleming will lead a discussion featuring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a life-long Richard Tucker fan and opera enthusiast, tenor Neil Shicoff, who was born in New York and the son of a cantor, Barry Tucker and other distinguished guests. The entrance to the Peter Jay Sharp Theater is at 155 W. 65th Street.  No tickets are required.  Entrance to the event is general seating and open to all.

At 7:30pm at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, there will be a free concert featuring several Richard Tucker Grant and Award winners, including Ailyn Peréz, Jamie Barton, Erin Morley, Wendy Bryn Harmer,  Brandon Cedel, Stephen Costello and Paul Appleby and others. Brian Zeger will be the pianist. The Naumburg Bandshell can be reached from either side of the park entering at 72nd Street.  The concert is general seating.

Both events are free and open to the public.

Other events on Richard Tucker Day will include an Ariathon in Richard Tucker Park (at Broadway and 65th Street) beginning at 2 PM featuring Richard Tucker recordings,  a special Richard Tucker Reuben at Junior’s of Brooklyn, and the voice of Richard Tucker being played all day on WQXR and in live performances on Sirius Radio’s Metropolitan Opera station.

Please join us to celebrate Richard Tucker Day in New York City.


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One CommentLeave a comment

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