Carnegie Hall, a bunch of terrific singers, and a couple thousand lovers of that singing: put them all together and you have the Richard Tucker Gala, which returned to Carnegie last night after many years away. What a thrill to hear it resound with fiery, resonant, beautiful singing from some of our profession’s best. I was proud and happy for friends, colleagues, students – at the stage of my life, a concert like this will contain people from all of those categories. And the audience was full of necks to hug as well!
Special kudos to Tamara Wilson, this year’s Richard Tucker award winner and graduate of the HGO studio. I remember that young lady singing the Priestess in AIDA backstage at the Wortham: incredible to hear her incisive and beautiful Verdi on stage last night! Also wonderful, as always, to hear the sumptuous voice of friend and partner in crime Jamie Barton. Larry Brownlee sang like a god, and his Rossini duet with excellent Javier Camarena just about set the place on fire. And, for the first time, this grand old gala featured work by a living composer: Jake Heggie, represented beautifully by Joyce DiDonato in an aria from “Great Scott.”
Over it all reigned the spirit of the great Richard Tucker. It’s humbling and inspiring to think of how many singers his foundation has supported. What a legacy.
Thanks for a beautiful weekend, New York! Now on to Alexandria VA…