Born Rubin Ticker in Brooklyn, New York to Bessarabian immigrant parents, Richard Tucker followed a somewhat circuitous path from from humble beginnings to opera stardom with very little formal training. His earliest musical experiences were with the legendary synagogue choral director, Samuel Weisser, and later, with Zavel Zilberts. Tucker went on to become a cantor (earning his primary income by working as a salesman for the Reliable Silk Company), serving at several New York area synagogues before making his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in 1945. Tucker was one of the most revered tenors of his era, yet always remained connected to the cantorate as well, frequently performing and recording services, such as the Passover Seder Festival composed for him by Sholom Secunda.
By: Jeff Janeczko