Saturday, August 30, 2014

Richard Tucker Day: A reverential mission and a free concert

One of my favorite things about Tucker Foundation events is the relentlessly informal atmosphere that pervades the preliminaries, regardless of how showy the arias or sparkling the gowns in the ensuing recital. To mark Richard Tucker Day on Thursday, the foundation sponsored two free concerts; to the second of these, held in the evening, I went with the Beloved Flatmate (emerita.) The auditorium of the New York Society for Ethical Culture (pictured) turned out to have favorable acoustics, and we were able to slip into a third-row seat without any trouble. While smaller than the audience for the Gala, this one was noticeably younger and more diverse, as I was pleased to note. Despite the line stretching well down the block for admission, I was surprised that there wasn't a larger turnout for a free concert with musicians of this caliber. Rising young artists and headlining stars gave mostly-showy pieces from a cross-section of the operatic repertoire stretching from early Mozart to Boito and Bizet, and, in the second half of the program, ventured into hits from American musicals to great effect. Bryan Wagorn, at the piano, proved himself an able and versatile accompanist.


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