Speaking out for Tradition

Richard Tucker Day August 28, 2014

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Tomorrow, New York City celebrates and pays tribute to the great American tenor, Richard Tucker. Amidst all of the chaos surrounding opera in New York City in recent weeks, it is seemingly appropriate to publicize a true celebration of artistry and the genre as it ought to be considered.

Many of you have asked why I’ve not commented or posted about the ongoings at the Met and the closing of a few European houses and the truth is that 1. I refuse to join this fabricated bandwagon that opera is dying and that there are no big voices left, that tradition is dead, that opera needs to be modernized, etc…
2. Ive decided to fight back this notion by studying my own singing intently and completely focusing on tradition, perfecting my technique, and following  the influence of those great singers who came before me in hope of reversing the notion that bel canto is dead.
3. Ive centered on my studio of 35 wonderful young talents, all big voices focused on line, phrasing, text, delivery, content and complete avoidance of the plethora of uncontrolled vibrato that seems to inhabit the stage today. For those interested in hearing our traditional army of singers, stay tuned for our upcoming presentation in Toronto, Ontario in the late fall. Im so thrilled for these amazing singers and more than thrilled to present them as guardians of tradition and this art.

Finally, I feel that the times are changing. We need to get back to the opera house, back in the seats to hear LIVE singing and singers need to give audiences a reason better than looking beautiful to fill those seats. Audiences havent gone anywhere but the greats have…so lets really give em something to talk about. VOCE VOCE VOCE!!

I will have more to say in upcoming weeks and some performance announcements too but I cannot close without paying remembrance to the great Licia Albanese who passed away earlier this month. She was a beacon of tradition and truth, a guiding artist and soprano of the highest esteem. May her voice and memory remain fervent in our hearts always. Riposa in pace grande Licia!

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Published in: on August 27, 2014 at 5:41 pm  Comments (3)  
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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.

The Last Verista’s “Pick of the Week” on Met Opera Radio for January 25-29, 2012: Giordano’s “Andrea Chenier” with Richard Tucker and Zinka Milanov

Richard Tucker as Chenier

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

6:00am Wagner: Parsifal                                                                                                                                                                                                            4/14/1979-Levine; Vickers, Ludwig, Weikl, Talvela, Shinall, Plishka

12:00pm: Verdi: Don Carlo
11/11/1950-Stiedry; Björling, Rigal, Merrill, Barbieri, Siepi, Hines

Fedora Barbieri as Princess Eboli

3:00pm: R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
1/29/2000-Levine; Graham, Fleming, Hawlata, Murphy, Ketelsen

7:30pm: Various: The Enchanted Island (LIVE FROM THE MET) Christie; Daniels, DiDonato, Domingo, de Niese, Pisaroni, Oropesa, Costanzo

The Met’s “Enchanted Island”

12:00am: Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia
4/7/1973-Levine; Prey, Horne, Di Giuseppe, Corena, Tozzi

Thursday, January 26, 2012

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6:00am: R. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos                                                                                                                                                                                  4/14/2001-Levine; Voigt, Margison, Petrova, Mentzer, Brendel, Oswald

9:00am: Handel: Giulio Cesare
4/17/1999-Nelson; Larmore, McNair, Blythe, Daniels, Asawa

Jennifer Larmore as Giulio Cesare

12:00pm: Verdi: La Traviata
4/21/1962-Strasfogel; Moffo, Morell, Sereni

3:00pm: Mozart: Don Giovanni
12/24/1994-Hager; Morris, Sweet, Olsen, Schuman, Perry, Hong, D’Arcangelo

6:00pm: Berg: Lulu
4/2/1988-Levine; Malfitano, Mazura, Troyanos, Hamilton, Foldi

9:10pm: Verdi: I Lombardi
1/15/1994-Levine; Flanigan, Pavarotti, Beccaria, Plishka

12:00am: Giordano: Andrea Chenier
12/28/1957-Cleva; Tucker, Milanov, Warren, Elias, Lipton, Amparan

The magnificent Zinka Milanov

Friday, January 27, 2012

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6:00am: Rossini: Il Barbiere di Siviglia
4/7/1973-Levine; Prey, Horne, Di Giuseppe, Corena, Tozzi

9:00am: Puccini: Madama Butterfly
1/8/1994-Fulton; Soviero, Leech, Deng, Allen, Anthony, Courtney, Schaldenbrand, Hoffman, Aceto

12:00pm: Verdi: Simon Boccanegra
12/29/1984-Levine; Milnes, Tomowa-Sintow, Moldoveanu, Plishka, Clark

3:00pm: Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin
2/24/2007-Gergiev; Hvorostovsky, Fleming, Vargas, Zaremba, Aleksashkin

6:00pm: Wagner: Götterdämmerung (SEASON PREMIERE – LIVE FROM THE MET)
Luisi; Voigt, Morris, König, Meier, Harmer, Paterson, Owens

Deborah Voigt in Gotterdammerung

12:00am: R. Strauss: Der Rosenkavalier
1/29/2000-Levine; Graham, Fleming, Hawlata, Murphy, Ketelsen

Saturday, January 28, 2012

6:00 AM ET Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor                                                                                                                                                                      2/19/1966-Varviso; Peters, Kónya, Guarrera, Díaz, Nagy, Ordassy, Marek

9:00am: Mozart: Don Giovanni
12/24/1994-Hager; Morris, Sweet, Olsen, Schuman, Perry, Hong, D’Arcangelo

1:00pm: Puccini: Tosca (LIVE FROM THE MET) Franck; Racette, Álvarez, Morris

6:00pm: Giordano: Andrea Chenier
12/28/1957-Cleva; Tucker, Milanov, Warren, Elias, Lipton, Amparan

9:00pm: Handel: Giulio Cesare
4/17/1999-Nelson; Larmore, McNair, Blythe, Daniels, Asawa

12:00am: Verdi: Don Carlo
11/11/1950-Stiedry; Björling, Rigal, Merrill, Barbieri, Siepi, Hines

Sunday, January 29, 2012

6:00am: Verdi: La Traviata                                                                                                                                                                                                         4/21/1962-Strasfogel; Moffo, Morell, Sereni

9:00am: Berg: Lulu
4/2/1988-Levine; Malfitano, Mazura, Troyanos, Hamilton, Foldi

12:00pm: Verdi: I Lombardi
1/15/1994-Levine; Flanigan, Pavarotti, Beccaria, Plishka

3:00pm: Wagner: Parsifal
4/14/1979-Levine; Vickers, Ludwig, Weikl, Talvela, Shinall, Plishka

9:00pm: The Met on Record: Mozart: Così fan tutte (1952)
Stiedry; Steber, Tucker, Guarrera, Thebom, Peters, Alvary

12:00am: R. Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos
4/14/2001-Levine; Voigt, Margison, Petrova, Mentzer, Brendel, Oswald

Milanov’s Farewell at the Met