Richard Tucker Square
Located in a small park triangle known formerly as Empire Park North and adjacent to Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, this bronze portrait bust by Milton Hebald (b. 1917) depicts opera star Richard Tucker (1913–1975). The bust sits on an inverted, tapered and polished granite pedestal on which are inscribed the titles of 31 operas that Tucker performed.
Tucker was born in Brooklyn in 1913, and he worked as a cantor before making his debut with New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 1945. Tucker enjoyed a thirty-year career with the organization, specializing in Italian operatic works. The monument was a gift of Tucker’s wife, Sarah, and was unveiled in 1979. A similar bust was unveiled in Tel Aviv, Israel that same year.
Sculptor Hebald also created the bronze pieces The Tempest (1966) and Romeo and Juliet (1977) in front of Central Park’s Delacorte Theater that commemorate celebrated playwright and poet William Shakespeare (1564–1616).