Star Tenors Marcelo Alvarez and Salvatore Licitra to Perform on Central Park's Great Lawn on July 19 at 8:00 p.m.

Free Concert to Celebrate 150th Anniversary of Central Park

Verizon to Provide Free Wi-Fi Capability for Concert Event


The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and the Central Park Conservancy 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 on Central Park's Great Lawn on Saturday, July 19th at 8:00 p.m. as part of a daylong celebration featuring playground parties, park tours, other musical performances, and recreational activities. They'll sing a selection of songs from their new recording Duetto as well as beloved arias from La Boheme, Tosca, Turandot and Rigoletto under the baton of Eugene Kohn.

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 released on June 24 from Sony Classical. Last month the city of Rome presented the tenors in a live Duetto concert at the Roman Colosseum. The performance debuted 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 received stellar reviews and worldwide press coverage for his performance as a substitute for an ailing Pavarotti last year at the Met.

In addition, concert sponsor Verizon is -- for the first time -- turning up its Wi-Fi capabilities in Central Park, making areas of the Great Lawn "hot." Park- and concert-goers will get instant, super-fast Internet access on their Wi-Fi-ready PDAs or laptop computers. The service is part of an extensive rollout of 1,000 Verizon Wi-Fi HotSpot access points throughout Manhattan, which gives Verizon Internet customers free on-the-go access. During the July 19 concert only, anyone with a Wi-Fi enabled device will be able to access a special event website and try the service free of charge. Immediately following the concert, the tenors will autograph CD's at the Tower Records kiosk located on the south end of the Great Lawn.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and First Lady Laura Bush are serving as the Honorary Co-Chairs of the yearlong 150th anniversary celebration of Central Park sponsored by MasterCard International. New Yorkers can enjoy numerous commemorative events, including an International Parks Conference held in June, 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 The Haagan Dazs Central Park Celebration "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 as part of a public art project entitled Target Benchmarks Central Park sponsored by Target. On November 20th, the benches will be sold at auction at Christie's 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.

For more information, visit,,

SOURCE: Sony Classical

CONTACT: Susan Schiffer, Sony Classical, +1-212-833-4763,; Megan Sheekey, NYC Department of Parks &
Recreation, +1-212-360-1311,; John Bonomo,
Verizon, +1-212-395-7756,; Jennifer Pucci, Central
Park Conservatory, +1-212-310-6658,

Web site: