Richard Tucker Tribute Set for NYC's Park East Synagogue, 12/14

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

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."

More On: Richard Tucker, Metropolitan, Foundation, Matthew Epstein, Paul Hall, Mel C,

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