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Tucker Gala presents opera stars at Avery Fisher Hall, Nov 6

The Richard Tucker Music Foundation holds its 36th annual Richard Tucker Gala on Sunday, November 6 in Avery Fisher Hall at New York’s Lincoln Center. Soprano Angela Meade, winner of the 2011 Richard Tucker Award, joins a star-studded cast of singers – including 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 popular arias and ensembles by such favorites as Verdi, Donizetti, Bizet, Mascagni, and Puccini. Maestro Emmanuel Villaume leads the line-up, which is supported by members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Choral Society. As Anthony Tommasini reported in the New York Times, at last season’s Richard Tucker Gala the stars brought “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.
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 by 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.
The foundation’s most substantial prize is the annual Richard Tucker Award of $30,000, which is given to an artist judged to be on the threshold of a major international career. Previous award winners include Renée Fleming, Deborah Voigt, David Daniels, and Joyce DiDonato. The winner of the 2011 award is American soprano Angela Meade, who recently drew praise in the title role of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena at the Metropolitan Opera, where her co-star was 2009 Richard Tucker Award winner Stephen Costello. 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, it is Meade who sings the first aria of the evening: “Santo di patria” from Verdi’s Attila. She is also joined by Dolora Zajick and her Ernani co-star, tenor Marcello Giordani, in a trio from Bellini’s Norma. Other highlights of the night include Ukrainian soprano Maria Guleghina in Tosca’s well-loved aria “Vissi d’arte”; tenor Jonas Kaufmann joining bass-baritone Bryn Terfel to sing the duet “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 le pays” from Ambroise Thomas’s Mignon; and the entire impressive cast coming together for the famous final fugue from Falstaff. The foundation’s president, Barry Tucker, son of the great American tenor, traditionally introduces the evening, which is followed by a dinner on the promenade level of the hall.
Further information about the 2011 Richard Tucker Gala and the work of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation is available at
Richard Tucker Music Foundation presents:
November 6 at 6:30pm
Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center, New York City
2011 Richard Tucker Award winner Angela Meade, soprano
Stephanie Blythe, mezzo-soprano
Marcello Giordani, tenor
Maria Guleghina, soprano
Jonas Kaufmann, tenor
Yonghoon Lee, tenor
Zeljko Lucić, baritone
Marina Poplavskaya, soprano
Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone
Dolora Zajick, mezzo-soprano
Featured composers: Bellini, Bizet, Donizetti, Massenet, Mascagni, Meyerbeer, Ponchielli, Puccini, Thomas, Tchaikovsky, and Verdi
Maestro Emmanuel Villaume
Members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
New York Choral Society
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