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Richard Tucker tribute at NYC’s Park East Synagogue Dec 14

Centenary celebrations marking the 100th birthday of the late Brooklyn-born tenor Richard Tucker continue on December 14, when New York City’s Park East Synagogue, in association with the Richard Tucker Music Foundation, presents a tribute to the cantor-turned-opera star as its ninth-annual benefit concert for the Park East Day School. The program for the special event showcases the American cantorial tradition and commemorates Tucker’s devotional art as a cantor. The 8 p.m. concert at the synagogue (163 E. 67th St.) will feature Park East Chief Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, one of the world’s most renowned exponents of the cantorial art, as well as operatic tenor Neil Shicoff, a New York native and veteran of the Metropolitan Opera; also on the program is the Park East Synagogue Choir under music director Russel Ger. Tickets start at $50 with proceeds supporting education activities at the Day School. For more information, contact Park East Synagogue at 212-737-6900 or [email protected].

Then, on December 17, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation will present celebrated tenor Neil Shicoff leading a masterclass at The Julliard School featuring four talented young tenors, Mario Chang, A. J. Glueckert, Anthony Kalil and Theo Lebow.  This event is the culmination of the TENORS!! program, which has been led by Matthew Epstein, Stephen Lord and Eugene Kohn. The pianists for the masterclass will be Adam Nielsen and Bryan Wagorn. The event, which takes place at 4 p.m. in Juilliard’s Paul Hall, is free and open to the public and no tickets are required.

Richard Tucker Music Foundation-supported events continue in January and February with the Voce at Pace: Rising Opera Stars in Recital series at Pace University’s Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts. Supported by the Tucker Foundation in honor of Dr. Agnes Varis, Voce at Pace began last month with a recital by Jamie Barton, winner of 2013 Cardiff Singer of the World competition and Cardiff Singer of the World Song Prize as well as recipient of a 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant. The series continues on January 26 with a performance by rising-star tenor Paul Appleby. Recipient of a 2011 Richard Tucker Career Grant, Appleby was described as “a marvel: an intelligent young singer equipped with the elegance and expressivity of an old pro” by New York magazine critic Justin Davidson for the tenor’s Met performance in Nico Muhly’s Two Boys. The third and final concert in the series takes place on February 9 and features soprano Nadine Sierra, recipient of a 2013 Richard Tucker Career Grant. She recently made debuts at the Teatro di San Carlo in Naples in Rigoletto, with the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, and at the Glimmerglass Festival in staged performances of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater. According to South Florida Classical Review, Sierra is “the complete package. [She] has the looks, the charisma and, most importantly, the voice to become an operatic star.”

On January 10, “Richard Tucker at 100: An Opera Celebration” will air on PBS stations across the U.S. as part of the Emmy Award-winning series Live From Lincoln Center, at 9:00 p.m. EST (check local listings). Filmed live at this year’s Richard Tucker Gala at Avery Fisher Hall in November, the performers include Stephanie Blythe, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Greer Grimsley, Isabel Leonard, Angela Meade, Eric Owens, Ailyn Pérez, and Matthew Polenzani. Also featuring the Met Opera Orchestra and New York Choral Society led by Riccardo Frizza, the program will present arias and ensembles by Verdi, Bellini, Rossini, Donizetti, Puccini and Offenbach. Hosted by five-time Tony Award-winning singer and actress Audra McDonald, the program will feature interstitial interviews with the artists, segments from backstage and a short documentary on Tucker’s life in addition to the musical performances. 

Further information about the gala and the work of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation is available at


Richard Tucker Music Foundation events:


December 14, 8:00 p.m.

Benefit Concert for Park East Day School

Park East Synagogue, 163 E. 67th St., New York City

Tenor Neil Shicoff, cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Park East Synagogue Choir under Russell Ger


December 17, 4:00 p.m.

Masterclass with Neil Shicoff

Paul Hall, The Juilliard School

Mario Chang, A. J. Glueckert, Anthony Kalil and Theo Lebow, tenors; Adam Nielsen and Bryan Wagorn, piano


January 10 on PBS, 9:00 p.m. EST

“Richard Tucker at 100: An Opera Celebration”

Hosted by Audra McDonald


January 26, 3:00 p.m.

Voce at Pace: Rising Opera Stars in Recital: Paul Appleby

Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University


February 9, 3:00 p.m.

Voce at Pace: Rising Opera Stars in Recital: Nadine Sierra

Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, Pace University

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© 21C Media Group, December 2013



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