Music: One of a Golden Dozen

"I hope you're not looking for glamour," Richard Tucker once warned a reporter, "because I'm just not the glamorous type." Short, squat and built like a football lineman, Tucker hardly suggested Rodolfo. Not that it mattered. A ringing, luminous sound, fueled by Tucker's majestic belief in both music and the voice he felt that God had given him, was embellishment enough for the legions of operagoers who came year after year to hear Verdi and Puccini melt in his mouth.

Last week, on the eve of his 30th anniversary with New York's Metropolitan Opera,...

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