Tonight, at least here in the NYC area, the Tucker Gala from this past
Fall is being televised at 9 PM on PBS- channel 13 here in NY.
The concert will feature wonderful performances, including the
highlight, for me, of Zajik sing the big Samson aria, with a piano Bb at
the conclusion that Milanov could have been proud of.
After the gala, there will be a 30 minute tribute to Tucker himself,
including many rare performance clips.
I have it on good authority that these will include a never before shown
(at least since it was originally on in 1957) clip of Tucker with a
radiant Renata Tebaldi singing the great final duet from Chenier. I
have this on a video given to me by the Tucker family, but until now, it
has never been seen on TV. The duet is done in the original key, and
watching it is thrilling beyond compare.
A strange side bar to this: whenever Tebaldi would sing with a tenor
shorter than her- such as Tucker, Bjoerling or Del Monaco- really every
tenor she sang with other than Corelli- she would always wear flat
shoes, so as not to tower over her tenor too much. In this Ed Sullivan
show, she wears high heels that appear to be at least three or four
inches. Boy- does she tower over Tucker. Her heels are only visible as
Ed Sullivan calls them over after the duet, so they may not be visible
Of course, Tucker more than holds his own vocally, and a more perfect
match in volume couldn't be found. Their Bb's and B's are simply
Watch it, all. And maybe you younger folks will know what some of us
older fuddy-duddies keep talking about.