Star Tenors Marcelo Alvarez and Salvatore Licitra to Perform in Central Park

Free Concert to Celebrate 150th Anniversary of Central Park, July 19, 2003


The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy today announced the first joint American performance of renowned tenors Marcelo Alvarez and Salvatore Licitra to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Central Park. The acclaimed tenors will perform a free concert in Central Park on the evening of July 19th as part of a daylong celebration featuring playground parties, park tours, musical performances, and recreational activities. This concert will replace the previously announced appearance of Andrea Bocelli whose agents recently informed the City that the concert could not take place.

Marcelo Alvarez and Salvatore Licitra have triumphed on the stages of the world's greatest opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Considered heirs to Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, and Jose Carreras, they recently teamed up to record Duetto, a collection of new songs and classic arias to be released on June 24 from Sony Classical. Last week the city of Rome presented the tenors in a live Duetto concert at the Roman Colosseum. The performance is currently airing on PBS "Great Performances." Alvarez has been singing at the Metropolitan Opera since 1998. He shot to stardom just a few years after leaving his hometown of Cordoba, Argentina at the age of 30 to embark on a singing career. Licitra recently received stellar reviews and worldwide press coverage for his performance as a substitute for an ailing Pavarotti.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and First Lady Laura Bush are the Honorary Co-Chairs of the yearlong 150th anniversary celebration. New Yorkers can enjoy numerous commemorative events, including an International Parks Conference, a film festival, classical music and jazz concerts, nature walks, and various educational and sporting events. On September 15th, the skies over the park will be illuminated by "Light Cycle," a pyrotechnic project by artist Cai Guo-Qiang, curated by Creative Time. That same evening, the tower of the Empire State Building will be lit green in honor of Central Park's 150th Anniversary. In October, park benches re-interpreted as works of art by architects, artists, and celebrities will be displayed in various locations throughout the park. On November 20th, the benches will be sold at an auction to benefit the park.

The history of Central Park begins in 1853, when the New York State Legislature authorized the City of New York to purchase over 700 acres of land in the middle of Manhattan and build a great public park. Central Park opened in December of 1858, and construction was completed approximately 16 years later. Each year, over 25 million visitors enjoy Central Park.

Conservancy; Sony Classical

SOURCE: New York City Department of Parks & Recreation; Central Park

CONTACT: Susan Schiffer of Sony Classical, +1-212-833-4763,; Megan Sheekey of Parks & Recreation,
+1-212-360-1311,; Jennifer Pucci of Central Park
Conservatory, +1-212-310-6658,