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Great Artists: The Magnificent Richard Tucker


"Richard Tucker made his European debut with Maria Callas (and got better reviews than she), then went on to perform for nearly three decades opposite an incredible roster of other great singers as well as with conductors like Toscanini."

"Tucker not only thrived in this heady company, but on through the 1950s and 1960s he continued to grow and develop as a performer in ways that amazed even his most devoted fans. Luciano Pavarotti recalled Tucker's singing of Canio near the end of his life as 'one of the truly great performances I have ever seen--not merely of Canio in  Pagliacci, but any performance, anywhere.'"

Courtesy of Mrs. Richard Tucker

The former Ruby Tucker (Ticker) was a coat lining salesman in Manhattan's fur district and had never even been to an opera when he announced to Sara (then his bride-to-be, later his wife of thirty years), 'You mark my words, someday I'm going to make it big in opera.' He proved to be a man of his word.
Tucker knew he was gifted, and this knowledge was his own mandate for success. But Tucker was no overnight sensation. First, he worked tirelessly to become a successful cantor, beginning at a small New Jersey synagogue and progressing at last to the prestigious Brooklyn Jewish Center. Yet he weathered several disappointments before an operatic career finally blossomed....Ultimately all this hard work paid off handsomely in the form of an indomitable singing technique that left him still going strong into his sixties....
In 1975, two weeks short of his thirtieth anniversary at the Metropolitan (Opera), Richard Tucker died while on concert tour with Robert Merrill. It had been an extraordinary thirty years. This is the story of one of the longest and most fruitful careers in Metropolitan Opera history; of the warm, gifted, and gutsy man Time magazine called 'the greatest tenor in the world.'



Great Artist Series

 The Yiddish World

Richard Tucker
as Andrea Chénier
in Giordano's
"Andrea Chénier"

Richard Tucker
as Tamino
in Mozart's
"Magic Flute"


Richard Tucker
as Turridu
in Mascagni's
"Cavalleria Rusticana"


Richard Tucker
as Riccardo
in Verdi's
"Ballo in Maschera"


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