Press Room

Tucker Gala at AFH on Nov 17 with broadcast Jan 10

On November 17, the Richard Tucker Music Foundation celebrates the 100th anniversary of the legendary tenor’s birth with a star-studded gala at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. Isabel Leonard, the 2013 Richard Tucker Award-winner and a rising star in the U.S. and abroad, joins an outstanding group of singers including Stephanie Blythe, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Susan Graham, Greer Grimsley, Angela Meade, Eric Owens, Ailyn Pérez, Matthew Polenzani, and Patricia Racette. With the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Choral Society led by Riccardo Frizza they will present a program of arias and ensembles by Verdi, Bellini, Rossini, Dvorák, Puccini and Offenbach. Following the concert, which is being taped for broadcast on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center on January 10, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. EST (check local listings), the foundation will host a gala dinner on the Grand Promenade of Avery Fisher Hall.

Many of the singers featured on the program are past recipients of the Richard Tucker Award, which includes a $30,000 cash prize and the ongoing support of the Tucker family and foundation. Each year, the foundation bestows the award on an American opera singer on the cusp of a major international career. Opera luminaries who have received the Tucker award include Renée Fleming, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Deborah Voigt, Lawrence Brownlee, Angela Meade, and 2012 winner Ailyn Pérez.

Since receiving the 2013 Tucker Award, native New Yorker Isabel Leonard continues to gain momentum. Her current run in the Met’s Così fan tutte under the direction of James Levine has met with critical acclaim: “Blending vocal warmth and clarity, Ms. Leonard was a winning Dorabella” (New York Times). This season, Leonard also makes her highly-anticipated debuts at the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and the Dallas Opera as Rosina in Rossini’s Il Barbiere di Siviglia.

“Richard Tucker at 100: An Opera Celebration” will air on PBS stations across America as part of the Emmy Award-winning series Live From Lincoln Center on Friday, January 10, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. EST (check local listings). 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 Richard Tucker’s life in addition to the musical performances.

Live From Lincoln Center is made possible by a major grant from MetLife; the series is also made possible with generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson 1962 Charitable Trust, Thomas H. Lee and Ann Tenenbaum, The Robert and Renée Belfer Family Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional episode funding is provided by Cadillac, a division of General Motors.

WQXR 105.9 FM, New York’s classical radio station, featured Leonard along with 2004 Richard Tucker Award-winner Matthew Polenzani, 2010 Richard Tucker Career Grant recipient Anthony Roth Costanzo, and the legendary Sherrill Milnes in a special event at The Greene Space in Lower Manhattan on October 4. Hosted by Operavore’s Naomi Lewin, the evening featured performances and conversations about the life and legacy of Richard Tucker. The webcast can be viewed here.

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

Tickets for this year’s event range from $40 to $600 and are on sale to the public on the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s website,, as well as at, by calling CenterCharge (212) 721-6500, and at the Avery Fisher Hall box office. Seats at the gala dinner on the Grand Promenade that follows the concert can be arranged by contacting the foundation’s offices at (212) 757-2218.


Richard Tucker Music Foundation presents:


November 17 at 6:30pm

Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City


2013 Richard Tucker Award winner Isabel Leonard 

Winners of Richard Tucker Music Foundation grants and honored guests:

Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano

Stephen Costello, tenor

Joyce DiDonato, mezzo-soprano

Renée Fleming, soprano

Greer Grimsley, bass-baritone

Angela Meade, soprano

Eric Owens, bass-baritone

Ailyn Pérez, soprano

Matthew Polenzani, tenor

Patricia Racette, soprano

Susan Graham, mezzo-soprano

Riccardo Frizza, conductor

Members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

New York Choral Society

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© 21C Media Group, November 2013


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