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Sony Classical celebrates 100 years of Richard Tucker with the release of two limited edition original album releases, an Opera Recital Album Collection of 10 CDs including seven “first time on CD releases” by Sony Classical and a Song and Cantorial Album Collection of 14 CDs, also including seven “first time on CD releases”. In the course of his career, which began on 25 January 1945 with Enzo in Ponchielli’s La Gioconda and ended on 3 December 1974 with Canio in Pagliacci, American Tenor Richard Tucker appeared in 344 performances at the old Met, 160 in the new house and 230 on tour. The only other tenors to have had longer careers were his predecessor Giovanni Martinelli and, later, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti. In an affectionate foreword that he contributed to James Drake’s biography of the greatest American tenor, Pavarotti asked: “What made Richard Tucker such a phenomenon? First and foremost were his voice and technique. His voice was not only beautiful – shimmering, silvery, and very powerful – but also incredibly enduring. For thirty years his voice remained youthful and vibrant, and his technique as close to perfect as one can get.” The consistency with which he sang over a period of more than three decades is little short of miraculous, a point underscored by the recordings assembled here, which date from 1947 to 1967.