After a five year absence, I am pleased to let you all know that the star-studded Richard Tucker Gala Concert will be returning to television. Oh, yes indeed it will. The concert, which was made possible in part by the generous support of Cadillac, was filmed over the weekend for inclusion in a national broadcast of the Emmy Award-winning Live From Lincoln Center series on PBS.
But, don't expect this year's broadcast to look like years past. Gone are the days of trotting singers out, one-after-the-other, to treat the audience to favorite arias and ensembles.
I know. I miss those galas of bygone days, too. [sigh]
Anyway... airing on Thursday, December 13 (make sure to check those local listings) the telecast will include a feature on this year's Richard Tucker Award-winner Ailyn Pérez. Additionally, we'll be treated to backstage access to the artists and some selections from the musical performance. Following in the footsteps of previous hosts such as soprano Roberta Peters, this year's telecast will be hosted by singer and actress Audra McDonald - a classically trained singer in her own right.
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 bringing opera into the community. Through awards, grants, performance opportunities, and other activities, the Foundation provides professional development for singers at each stage of their careers. The Foundation 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 - which gives $30,000 to an artist judged to be on the threshold of a major international career. Previous award winners include Renée Fleming, David Daniels, Joyce DiDonato, Deborah Voigt, Lawrence Brownlee, and Angela Meade.
Barry Tucker, president of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and son of the great American tenor for whom it is named, says in a statement:
We are thrilled to be back on television this year and to be able to share our wonderful concert with viewers throughout America thanks to Live From Lincoln Center. We’ve got a great lineup of singers and are delighted to introduce 2012 Richard Tucker Award-winner Ailyn Pérez, a wonderful young soprano who sings with incredible beauty and heart and is sure to light up the show.The complete list of singers joining Pérez on the 37th annual gala program, all under the baton of Patrick Summers, includes:
- Ildar Abdrazakov, bass
- Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano
- Olga Borodina, mezzo-soprano
- Stephen Costello, tenor
- Tara Erraught, mezzo-soprano
- Giuseppe Filianoti, tenor
- Gerald Finley, baritone
- Marcello Giordani, tenor
- Dmitri Hvorostovsky, baritone
- Quinn Kelsey, baritone
- Liudmyla Monastyrska, soprano
- Erwin Schrott, bass-baritone