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NY Mets, Junior’s & others celebrate Richard Tucker Day in NYC

August 28 is 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, on what would have been the 101st anniversary of his birth. To observe the occasion, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation will lead celebrations throughout the city and online in collaboration with such New York institutions as the New York MetsJunior’s restaurant, the Metropolitan OperaCarnegie HallWQXR’sOperavore and more. In addition, the foundation will present 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 will feature singers who have been supported by the Foundation through its awards and grants.


Highlights include:

Opera singers – recipients of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s awards and grants together with a few surprise special guests – will serenade 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.

At 7pm in the evening, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation will present 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 will feature Richard Tucker Award-winners Isabel Leonard, Ailyn Pérez, and Stephen Costello – as well as Career and Study Grant recipients Anthony Roth Costanzo, Erin Morley, Wendy Bryn Harmer, Nicholas Pallesen, and Andrew Stenson.

Tenor Dimitri Pittas, a New York native who won a 2006 Richard Tucker Career Grant and 2005 Sara Tucker Study Grant, will perform the national anthem before the New York Mets host 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 – will bring 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 will be available at Junior’s original Brooklyn location at 386 Flatbush Avenue Extension.

Throughout the day, WQXR 105.9 FM, New York’s classical music radio station, will play Richard Tucker recordings on Operavore, its online opera stream (

The Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall will lead online celebrations by posting Richard Tucker-related content on their respective social media channels. During his time, Richard Tucker enjoyed close ties with both NYC institutions.

Founded in 1975, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to perpetuating the artistic legacy of the great 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 various stages of their careers. It also offers free performances in the New York metropolitan area and supports music education enrichment programs.
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© 21C Media Group, August 2014


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