Mark Rucker, a celebrated baritone and longtime operatic star with the New Orleans Opera Association, is slated to be honored later today. Rucker, who started his New Orleans career in 1993 with the role of Tonio in Ruggero Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci,” will be honored at a late morning reception at the African American Resource Center in the main branch of the New Orleans Public Library. The reception, which is free to the public, starts at 11 a.m. and runs till 12:30 p.m. Light refreshment will be served.
Rucker, a graduate of Loyola University’s School of Music, will reprise his debut role of Tonio this coming April 27 at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts as the New Orleans Opera Association presents “Pagliacci” and Carl Orff’s orchestral and vocal work “Carmina Burana,” an unusual double billing.
“Pagliacci,” written in the verismo (“realism”) style was part of a literary and musical movement that was popular from 1875 until the turn of the Twentieth Century and is Leoncavallo’s best known opera. Its popular aria “Recitar…vesti la giubba” is one of the most well-known in all of opera. In it the clown Canio sings of his having to don his clown costume as normal, despite his suspicion that his wife Nedda is guilty of infidelity.
“Carmina Burana,” is one of a trilogy called “Triofi,” which includes “Catulli Carmina” and “Trionfo di Afrodite.” Members of the New Orleans Ballet Theater will dance to the work along with members of the
Meanwhile, the New Orleans Opera Association presents for the last time this season its popular “Opera on Tap” series. As part of this series, which emanated in New York City opera performers appear at local pubs or taverns and perform. This evening’s event starts at 7:00 p.m. at The Inn on Bourbon Street, 541 Bourbon Street, and continues until 8:30 p.m. $5.00 parking is available by mentioning “Opera on Tap.” For more information call 504-529-3000.