NEW YORK, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- When Tony Bennett makes his debut at his sold out performance at the Metropolitan Opera House on Sunday, September 18, he will be joined by Aretha Franklin, Sir Elton John and Alejandro Sanz for special duet appearances. Franklin, John and Sanz all recorded with Bennett for his Duets CD projects: Elton John appeared on the first CD, DUETS in 2006; and Aretha Franklin and Alejandro Sanz recorded with the singer for the forthcoming follow up CD, DUETS II, set for release on Tuesday, September 20.
The evening at the Metropolitan Opera will also mark the official celebration of Tony's 85th birthday where he will be honored at a post-concert gala hosted by Alec Baldwin. The gala is a benefit for Exploring the Arts, the non-profit organization started by Bennett and his wife Susan, to support arts education in public schools. Over $2.5M has been raised for the evening thus far. Among the celebrated guests expected to attend the concert and gala are: Richard Gere, Bruce Willis, Katie Couric, Aretha Franklin, Matthew Broderick, Martha Stewart, Joy and Regis Philbin, Jane and Mitch Winehouse, among others. Through underwriting from HBO, the SRO seating at the Met Opera will be distributed to students from around area schools, including the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, a NYC public arts high school founded by Tony Bennett.
Charity Buzz will close their bidding tomorrow on their auction of a unique "Breakfast At Tiffany with Tony Bennett" in-store event that also includes tickets to Tony's Metropolitan Opera concert and birthday gala, a personalized Tony Bennett giclee art print, as well as a $10,000 Tiffany private shopping experience and tour of the famed store. The "Breakfast at Tiffany" package was donated by Tiffany & Co. in support of Exploring the Arts, and is available exclusively on charity buzz at www.charitybuzz.com/tonybennett.
About Tony Bennett:
Tony Bennett is an artist who moves the hearts and touches the souls of audiences. He's not just the singer's singer but also an international treasure honored by the United Nations with its Citizen of the World award, which aptly describes the scope of his accomplishments. Born Anthony Dominick Benedetto in the Astoria section of Queens, New York, Tony has placed two-dozen songs in the Top 40, including "I Wanna Be Around," "The Good Life," "Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)" and his signature hit, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." Thus far, Tony has earned 15 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award as well as multiple Emmy Awards. Named a Kennedy Center Honoree and NEA Jazz Master, he was presented with the 2007 Humanitarian Award by the United Nations. In 2001, Tony established the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, one of the highest rated public high schools in New York City. With his wife Susan, they founded Exploring the Arts, a non-profit organization that supports arts programs in 14 NYC public high schools in all five boroughs. Tony Bennett celebrated his 85th birthday on August 3, 2011 and will be releasing his DUETS II CD this September in honor of this milestone. The album features Tony singing duets with many celebrated artists including Lady Gaga, John Mayer, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Queen Latifah and Amy Winehouse.
About Exploring The Arts:
Exploring the Arts (ETA) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization founded in 1999 by Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto. ETA's mission is to strengthen the role of the arts in public high school education. ETA provides support and funding to help public high schools sustain and grow their arts programs and curricula. ETA currently has 14 Partner Schools throughout New York City's 5 boroughs. ETA's flagship school, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA), was founded by Tony and Susan in Tony's hometown of Astoria, Queens. In addition to its rigorous academic curriculum, FSSA offers 4-years majors in Film, Theatre, Dance, Fine Art, Vocal and Instrumental Music. FSSA holds one of the highest high school graduation and college acceptance rates of all NYC public schools and celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2011.
SOURCE RPM Records/Columbia Records