Advance tickets go on sale today for the Richard Tucker Music Foundation’s annual gala concert, one of the most highly anticipated operatic events of the season. Coming to Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage on Sunday, October 21 at 6pm, the concert features bass-baritone Christian Van Horn, winner of the 2018 Richard Tucker Award, with a host of opera luminaries from around the world: soprano Anna Netrebko, tenors Javier Camarena and Yusif Eyvazov, and five past Tucker Award-winners: sopranos Christine Goerke, Angela Meade, and Nadine Sierra; mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe; and tenor Michael Fabiano. This starry lineup will join forces for an evening of favorite arias and ensembles under the baton of Marco Armiliato, with the support of the New York Choral Society and members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The gala concert is presented by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
After Richard Tucker unexpectedly died on tour in 1975, his duo partner and friend Robert Merrill worked with the Tucker family to organize a gathering of opera legends, including Martina Arroyo and Roberta Peters, to take place on what would have been the duo’s next date at Carnegie Hall. The Richard Tucker Music Foundation was formed later that year, and the concert became an annual tradition, raising funds to support young American opera singers and keep the beloved tenor’s memory alive. Having relocated across town to Lincoln Center in 1989, the gala made a triumphant return to its original home at Carnegie Hall with a sold-out house two years ago. For more than four decades, audiences at both locations have been able to depend on the foundation’s annual gala to bring together some of opera’s most illustrious stars, who have included Leonard Bernstein, Montserrat Caballé, Plácido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Leontyne Price, and Joan Sutherland.
Christian Van Horn is “one of those treasurable singers in whose presence one can entirely relax, assured that everything he does will be delivered with solid interpretive insight and unfailingly attractive tone” (Opera News). Only the third bass-baritone to win the Tucker Award in its 40-year history, his long association with the foundation dates back to his receipt of a Sara Tucker Study Grant in 2003, in which year he also took first place at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Since then, he has made debuts on many of the world’s great opera stages, and is now taking on principal roles in major international productions. This season alone has seen him star as Mephistopheles in Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Faust, sing his first Enrico in Anna Bolena at the Canadian Opera Company, and create the role of Julio in the Metropolitan Opera’s U.S. premiere of The Exterminating Angel by Thomas Adès. Next season brings two more important firsts, with debuts at the Paris Opera and in the title role of Mefistofele at the Met. His concert engagements include recent debuts with the New York Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony and appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic in Salzburg. He has recorded the title role of Le nozze di Figaro for Sony Classical and recently appeared in the Metropolitan Opera’s HD broadcast of Falstaff. A native of Long Island and a graduate of Chicago’s Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, Van Horn holds a Master’s in music from Yale University.
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 young American opera singers. 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. Each year, the foundation confers its most prestigious prize, the Richard Tucker Award, on an artist poised on the brink of a major international career. Often referred to as the “Heisman Trophy of Opera,” the award comes with a $50,000 cash prize as well as the ongoing support of the Tucker family and foundation. Past winners include Lawrence Brownlee, Stephen Costello, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Deborah Voigt, and Dolora Zajick.