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36th Annual Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala honors Angela Meade

The Richard Tucker Music Foundation holds the 36th annual Richard Tucker Gala on Sunday, November 6 at Avery Fisher Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center. Soprano Angela Meade, winner of the 2011 Richard Tucker Award, joins a starry array of special guests – mezzo-sopranos Stephanie Blythe and Dolora Zajick, both previous Richard Tucker Award winners; bass-baritone Bryn Terfel; tenor Jonas Kaufmann, and many more – in a program of favorite arias and ensembles, including selections by Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet, Mascagni, and Puccini. Maestro Emmanuel Villaume leads the lineup of luminaries, supported by members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Choral Society. As Anthony Tommasini reports in the New York Times, the Richard Tucker Gala provides a platform for “opera stars [to] show their frisky side”; last season’s offering saw “the stars taking part…bringing style and stamina to diverse works from opera, operetta, and Spanish zarzuela.” Tickets are still available by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500 or at the Avery Fisher Hall box office.

The Foundation’s most substantial prize is the annual Richard Tucker Award: $30,000 given to an artist judged to be on the threshold of a major international career, with previous award winners including Renée Fleming, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, and Deborah Voigt. Winner of the 2011 award is American soprano Angela Meade, currently drawing praise in the title role of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena at the Metropolitan Opera. As the Associated Press observes, “Bolena’s crown is a good fit for Angela Meade. …Throughout the long evening, she made the intricate vocal line sound effortless – the mark of a true bel canto expert.” In February 2012, Meade returns to the Met to star in Verdi’s Ernani, which will be broadcast to movie theaters worldwide in the company’s Live in HD series.

At the Richard Tucker Gala, her Ernani co-star, tenor Marcello Giordani, joins Meade and Dolora Zajick in a trio from Bellini’sNorma, and it is Meade who sings the first aria of the evening – “Santo di patria” from Verdi’s Attila – after accepting her award. Other highlights of the night include Ukrainian soprano Maria Guleghina in Tosca’s beloved aria “Vissi d’arte”; tenor Jonas Kaufmann duetting with Bryn Terfel in a “Dio, che nell’alma infondere” from Don Carlo; Korean tenor Yonghoon Lee singing “O Souverain” from Massenet’s Le Cid; Stephanie Blythe performing “Connais tu la pays” from Ambroise’s Mignon; and the entire star-studded cast coming together for the famous fugal finale from Falstaff. The opening speech and award presentation is courtesy of the Foundation’s President, Barry Tucker, son of the great American tenor, and a black-tie dinner follows the gala performance.

October 21st, 2011 |

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