Live From Lincoln Center | Richard Tucker at 100: An Opera Celebration
Preview Stars of the opera world come out to celebrate the centennial of Richard Tucker's birth.
Live From Lincoln Center will broadcast the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s 2013 gala concert, one of the most highly anticipated events of the opera season, from Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. The concert event will celebrate the legendary tenor’s centenary with an illustrious all-American group of singers, and honoring this year’s Richard Tucker Award winner Isabel Leonard. The “Richard Tucker at 100: An Opera Celebration” broadcast—hosted by Audra McDonald and featuring interstitial interviews with the artists, segments from backstage, and a short documentary on Richard Tucker’s life—is taped from a concert on November 17, 2013.
For the past 38 years, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s annual gala event has presented the world’s biggest opera stars on one stage on one night. This year’s event is no exception: in a special tribute to celebrate the centenary of the late Brooklyn-born tenor’s birth, a star-studded group of American singers will take the stage for a program of favorite arias and ensembles. Performers include Stephanie Blythe, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Susan Graham, Gregg Grimsley, Angela Meade, Eric Owens, Ailyn Pérez, Matthew Polenzani, and Patricia Racette, joining the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Choral Society, under the baton of conductor Riccardo Frizza. Many of the singers featured on the program are past recipients of the foundation’s biggest prize, the Richard Tucker Award, which gave them recognition and much neede funds at a crucial point in their careers.
This year’s Richard Tucker Award recipient is the “fresh, effervescent, and lovely” (New York Times) Isabel Leonard, a native New Yorker and rising star in the United States and abroad. Besides her current run as Dorabella in the Met’s Così fan tutte under James Levine, which will be broadcast to cinemas worldwide in the spring as part of the company’s Live in HD series, the 2013-14 season sees Leonard in her highlyanticipated debuts at the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Dallas Opera as Rosina in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia. Last season also saw Leonard in an array of distinguished roles. She sang Miranda in Adès’s The Tempest, Blanche in Poulenc’s
Dialogues des Carmélites, and Rosina in the English version of Rossini’s Barber of Seville. She also made her debut with the Canadian Opera Company as Sesto in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito and impressed audiences in recital at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Last year, she appeared on a segment about Lincoln Center and the Met Opera on Sesame Street.
Founded in 1975, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to perpetuating the artistic legacy of the great Brooklyn-born tenor by nurturing the careers of talented American opera singers and bringing opera into the community. Through awards, grants for study, performance opportunities and other activities, the Foundation provides professional development for singers at each stage of their careers. The Foundation also offers free performances in the New York Metropolitan area and supports music education enrichment programs. 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, Deborah Voigt, Lawrence Brownlee and Angela Meade. More information available at richardtucker.org.