Richard Tucker Gala at Carnegie Hall
By Barry Bassis
Come Out for this prestigious annual concert
go out of their way to attend the Richard Tucker Music Foundation Gala. Each
year, the Carnegie Hall concert, hosted by the late singer’s son, Barry Tucker,
is an annual event that showcases past and current award winners as well as
prominent opera singers from around the world.
American tenor Richard Tucker (1913-1975) was a native New Yorker, who remained
a star at the Metropolitan Opera until his untimely death from a heart attack.
The non-profit foundation was created in his honor in 1975 to give awards and
grants to promising opera singers, a number of whom have become stars.
began with James Gaffigan conducting the orchestra in the rousing overture to
“I Vespri Siciliani.”
winner of the Tucker Foundation award, soprano Lisette Oropesa sang “Come dolce
all’alma mia” from Rossini’s “Tancredi.” She showed off her bel canto style and
ability to knock out high notes. She returned later with another technically
demanding bel canto aria: “Qui la Voce…Vien diletto” from Bellini’s “I
Puritani.” On this one, Elvira’s mad scene, Oropesa also displayed her dramatic
Lucas Meachem sang the comic “Largo al factotum” with panache. He surprised the
audience by walking down the aisle singing.
Richard Tucker award winner bass-baritone Christian Van Horn conveyed pure evil
as Scarpia in the “Te Deum” from “Tosca.” The New York Choral Society added
luster to the piece.
Fabiano displayed a range of colors on the haunting “Kuda, kuda” aka “Lensky’s
aria” from “Eugene Onegin.”
Artur Rucinski showed off an opulent tone on “Il Balen” from “Il Trovatore” and
impressed again in a duet with soprano Angel Blue. She also sang a lovely
rendition of “Depuis le Jour” from “Louise.”
Costello first sang a smooth Flower Song from “Carmen” and later the Love Duet
from “Madama Butterfly” with soprano Ermonela Jaho. The soprano also won over
the audience with “Io son l'umile ancella” from “Adriana Lecouvreur.”
Pérez was a standout at the concert. First, she sang the lilting “Chi il sogno
di Doretta” from “La Rondine” and later the final duet from ‘Thaïs” with Lucas
demonstrated that she is one of the world’s leading mezzo-sopranos with two
arias from Verdi’s “Don Carlo:” “Nel Giardin del bello” and “O Don Fatale.”
If you are an
opera fan, don’t miss next year’s Richard Tucker Gala.