For nearly 40 years, this bronze portrait bust has been, like the Brooklyn-born tenor it honors, a mainstay of the Lincoln Center neighborhood. It is, in fact, the main element of Richard Tucker Square, a small triangular park at the intersection of Broadway and West 66th Street. I took this photo three weeks ago, while in the area.
A former cantor, Richard Tucker (1913–1975) made his debut with New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1945, and went on to a 30-year career with that institution. The bust, created by Milton Hebald and unveiled in 1979, sits on a granite pedestal.
The titles of 31 productions in which Tucker appeared, leaning heavily toward his specialty in Italian opera, are inscribed on the pedestal, including Rigoletto, Tosca, Turandot, The Magic Flute, Manon Lescaut, and Samson et Dalila.