Richard Tucker Opera Gala: A New Century

2014 Richard Tucker Gala

The 2014 Richard Tucker Gala was held Sunday, October 12, 2014 at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and was telecast by Live From Lincoln Center on PBS in January, 2015.    The entire concert, along with behind-the-scenes footage and special features, may be viewed at by clicking here.

For pictures from the night of the Gala, please click here

Appearing on the concert were

Ildar Abdrazakov

Paul Appleby

Elena Bocharova

Joseph Calleja

Joyce El-Khoury

Ingeborg Gillebo

Željko Lučić

Angela Meade

Alexandra Silber

Pretty Yende

Michael Fabiano, 2014 Richard Tucker Award Winner

Maestro Emmanuel Villaume

New York Choral Society



GIUSEPPE VERDI, “Tutto parea sorridere…Sì! de’ Corsari il fulmine” from Il corsaro



VINCENZO BELLINI, “Qui la voce…Vien diletto” from I puritani



GIUSEPPE VERDI, “Infelice!..e tuo credevi” from Ernani




GIACOMO PUCCINI,  “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca



JULES MASSENET, “Esprits de l’air” from Esclarmonde




WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART, “Là ci darem la mano” from Don Giovanni



UMBERTO GIORDANO, “Nemico della patria” from Andrea Chenier



JULES MASSENET, “Pourquoi me réveiller” from Werther



JULES MASSENET,  “Toi! Vous!…N’est-ce plus ma main” from Manon




“Pace, pace” from La forza del destino



PIETRO MASCAGNI, “Regina Coeli…Inneggiamo” from Cavalleria rusticana




PABLO SARAZABAL, “No puede ser” from La tabernera del puerto



LEONARD BERNSTEIN, “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story



LEONARD BERNSTEIN, Balcony Scene from West Side Story



GAETANO DONIZETTI, Finale of Act II from Lucia di Lammermoor










October 9th, 2014 |

WQXR Presents “Seranata Italiana”


On Tuesday, October 7th, at 7:00PM, Richard Tucker Award Winner Michael Fabiano performed in a special salute to Italian opera and song, in WQXR’s “Seranata Italiana.”

The evening event also featured performances by Richard Tucker Grant winners mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and bass-baritone Brandon Cedel.

Legendary soprano Renata Scotto made a guest appearance in conversation with WQXR’s Naomi Levin, discussing her collaborations with Richard Tucker and her role as a master teacher imparting the traditions of Italian opera to a new generation of American opera singers.

The event took place at The Greene Space, at 44 Charlton Street, New York, NY (corner of Varick St.), at 7:00PM.

To view footage from this event, click here.

October 2nd, 2014 |


Richard Tucker Day 2014: August 28, 2014

On Aug 28, Third Annual Richard Tucker Day in NYC Honors Late Tenor with Free Opera Performances, Deli Sandwiches, Baseball, and More

The third annual Richard Tucker Day in New York City – honoring the iconic Brooklyn-born tenor who transitioned from cantor to star of the Metropolitan Opera – took place this year on Thursday August 28, the 101st anniversary of the singer’s birth. To observe the occasion, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation led celebrations throughout the city and online in collaboration with a number of New York institutions, including the New York Mets, Junior’s restaurant, the Metropolitan Opera, Carnegie Hall, WQXR’s Operavore and more. In addition, the foundation presented two free opera performances, one in the afternoon at Bowling Green Park and another in the evening at the Society for Ethical Culture. Both concerts featured singers who have been supported by the Foundation through its awards and grants.

The leading American tenor of his day, and as Opera News put it “King of the Met during the 1950s and ’60s,” native New Yorker Richard Tucker has already been recognized in a number of ways for his invaluable contribution to the cultural life of the city. The park adjacent to Lincoln Center has been designated “Richard Tucker Square,” with a bronze portrait bust of the singer, and last year Richard Tucker Centennial Day was celebrated with a concert in Central Park and a panel discussion on the tenor’s legacy that featured Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tenor Neil Shicoff, and the late tenor’s eldest son, Barry Tucker.

“I’m thrilled that we are celebrating Richard Tucker Day for a third year in a row and making it an annual tradition,” says Barry Tucker, who serves as President of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation. “It would make my father proud that we are able to serve the New York City community by presenting opera performances that are free and open to the public.”

Highlights of the festivities planned for the third annual Richard Tucker Day on Thursday, August 28 included the following:

• Opera singers who are recipients of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s awards and grants, as well as a few surprise special guests, serenaded tourists, stockbrokers and the New York City public with “Arias in the Afternoon,” a free concert presented by the Foundation from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at Bowling Green Park in the Financial District. Richard Tucker used to frequent the park in his youth when he worked as a runner on Wall Street; the late tenor’s interest in the stock market was passed down to his son Barry, who in addition to running the Foundation has had a lifelong career in finance.
• At 7pm in the evening, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation presented a free concert featuring winners of the Foundation’s awards and grants at the Society for Ethical Culture at 2 W. 64th St. at Central Park West. The program featured three Richard Tucker Award-winners – mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard, soprano Ailyn Pérez, and tenor Stephen Costello – as well as Career and Study Grant recipients including counter-tenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, soprano Erin Morley, soprano Amanda Majeski, soprano Wendy Bryn Harmer, baritone Nicholas Pallesen, and tenor Andrew Stenson.
• Tenor Dimitri Pittas, a New York native and Queens resident who won a 2006 Richard Tucker Career Grant and 2005 Sara Tucker Study Grant, performed the national anthem before the New York Mets hosted the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field at 7:10pm.
• Throughout the day, Junior’s restaurant – a New York City institution for more than 60 years – brought back its off-menu special sandwich, “The Richard Tucker Reuben,” which was created last year in honor of Richard Tucker Centennial Day and pays tribute to the American tenor’s given name, Rubin. The sandwich, a variation on the traditional Reuben, includes both pastrami and corned beef, two of Richard Tucker’s favorite deli meats, and was available at Junior’s original Brooklyn location at 386 Flatbush Avenue Extension.
WQXR 105.9 FM, New York’s classical music radio station, presented Richard Tucker recordings on Operavore, its online opera stream (
• The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall led online celebrations by posting Richard Tucker-related content on their respective social media channels.

August 19th, 2014 |

Bass Ryan Speedo Green

2014 Grants Winners Announced


Congratulations to the winners of the 2014 Richard Tucker Music Foundation Grants!

Sara Tucker Study Grants

Benjamin Bliss, tenor

Anthony Clark Evans, baritone

Patrick Guetti, bass

John Holiday, countertenor

Amanda Woodbury, soprano

Richard Tucker Career Grants

Ryan Speedo Green, bass-baritone

Anthony Kalil, tenor

Rachel Willis-Sørensen, soprano

April 4th, 2014 |

Richard Tucker

Live from Lincoln Center – Richard Tucker at 100: An Opera Celebration

The complete footage from our  2013 Richard Tucker Gala is available for streaming at  Live from Lincoln Center – “Richard Tucker at 100: An Opera Celebration”   features footage from our November 17, 2013 Gala, backstage interviews and features and a biographical tribute to Richard Tucker in honor of the centennial of his birth.    Bonus clips of performances not included in the  original PBS television broadcast are also included.   The concert featured many of opera’s greatest stars, all of whom have been recognized by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.

Appearing at the Gala were:

Stephanie Blythe

Stephen Costello

Joyce DiDonato

Renée Fleming

Susan Graham

Greer Grimsley

Angela Meade

Eric Owens

Ailyn Pérez

Matthew Polenzani

Isabel Leonard, 2013 Richard Tucker Award Winner

Maestro Riccardo Frizza

Members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

New York Choral Society

September 28th, 2013 |

Isabel Leonard, 2013 Richard Tucker Award winner

Watch the October 4 Greene Space Web Cast

On October 4, 2013 WQXR presented a program at the Jerome Greene Space celebrating the Richard Tucker Foundation, Richard Tucker’s Centenary and the 2013 Richard Tucker Award Winner Isabel Leonard, Richard Tucker Award winner Matthew Polenzani, Richard Tucker Career Grant winner counter-tenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, and legendary baritone Sherrill Milnes will speak about Richard Tucker and the Tucker Music Foundation. The host for the event was  Naomi Lewin.

To watch the full webcast, click here.

September 2nd, 2013 |

RTD_2012-9769 (2)

August 28, 2013 – Richard Tucker Day

On Wednesday August 28, celebrated Richard Tucker’s 100th Birthday and Mayor Michael Bloomberg designated it Richard Tucker Centennial Day. There were  several events celebrating the event including 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 were free and open to the public.

At The The Julliard School’s Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Renée Fleming led 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.

At the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, there was 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 pianist Brian Zeger.

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.



August 15th, 2013 |

Sony release picture use

Sony Classical Richard Tucker Centennial Release

Sony Classical celebrates Richard Tucker’s upcoming centennial with two exciting new releases – two box sets celebrating Richard Tucker’s artistry and recording career. The Opera Recital Album Collection features 10 CDs and the Song and Cantorial Album Collection features 14 CDs. Both sets include many recordings that are being released for the first time on CD.

This collection is now available in the US and abroad. Click below for more information!

Richard Tucker Album Collections

August 13th, 2013 |

Jamie Cardiff3

Jamie Barton, 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World

Congratulations to 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant winner Jamie Barton on her recent triumph at the 2013 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition! Jamie represented the United States at the prestigious international contest, winning both the Song Prize and the main prize, only the second singer in the competition’s 30 year history to achieve that distinction.

One of Jamie’s winning arias was “O mon Fernand” from Donizetti’s La favorite , which she also sang to great acclaim on our November, 2012 Gala. To enjoy that performance, visit at the link below:

Highlights of Jamie’s exceptional Cardiff performances are available for a short time on the BBC website:

We are proud to have Jamie as part of the Tucker Foundation family and wish her continued success in what is sure to be an extraordinary career!

June 24th, 2013 |

Isabel Leonard, 2013 Richard Tucker Award winner

Mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard winner of 2013 Richard Tucker Award; Career and Study Grant winners also announced


The Richard Tucker Music Foundation is thrilled to announce that mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard – hailed as “a rising star” by the New York Times – is the winner of the 2013 Richard Tucker Award.  This prestigious prize carries the Foundation’s most substantial cash award of $30,000. Often referred to as the “Heisman Trophy of Opera,” it is conferred annually on an opera singer at the threshold of a major international career; previous winners include such luminaries of the opera world as Renée Fleming, Deborah Voigt, David Daniels, and Joyce DiDonato.

“As a native New Yorker, I can think of no greater honor than to be named the winner of the Richard Tucker Award,” said Leonard when she was given the news. “Receiving this award is a personal validation of the work I’ve done in my career so far, and I am excited to carry on the legacy of Richard Tucker and the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.”

“We are thrilled that Isabel Leonard has been chosen to be the 2013 Richard Tucker Award winner. She’s an extraordinary, incredibly talented singer with a gorgeous voice and beautiful stage presence who promises to bring great honor to the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and the memory of my father,” said Barry Tucker, President of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and son of the Brooklyn-born tenor.

The foundation has also announced the winners of the 2013 Richard Tucker Career Grants and Sara Tucker Study Grants, who were selected by means of audition earlier this month at New York’s 92nd Street Y, thanks to the generous support of the Agnes Varis Trust. A complete list of recipients is provided below.

The coming months see Isabel Leonard make her role debut as Blanche in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as appearing in concert with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and at Japan’s Saito Kinen Festival. Among her recent highlights are role debuts as Miranda in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest at the Met, and as Sesto in La clemenza di Tito at the Canadian Opera Company. Signature roles include the title character of Offenbach’s La Périchole, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro; at Glyndebourne, the Financial Times declared: “In a nicely balanced cast, my favorite is Isabel Leonard’s Cherubino – a stage animal with charisma written all over her.”

Since making her company debut in Roméo et Juliette in 2007, the mezzo has become an audience favorite at the Met, besides singing at Santa Fe Opera, Atlanta Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, and Opera Colorado. European engagements have taken her to the Vienna State Opera, Opéra Nationale de Paris, Opéra Nationale de Bordeaux, the Bavarian State Opera and the Glyndebourne and Salzburg Festivals. Leonard has sung with orchestras including the Chicago and Boston Symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the New York Philharmonic. High-profile gala appearances include the Marilyn Horne Foundation’s 75th Birthday Gala in Carnegie Hall, where Leonard also recently made her Zankel Hall recital debut. A graduate of the Juilliard School, her numerous previous honors include the Met’s prestigious Beverly Sills Artist Award (2011).


April 15th, 2013 |

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