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Stephen Costello Sings First Alfredo at Metropolitan Opera Dec 11, One of Two Met Role Debuts This Season

Tucker Award-winning tenor Stephen Costello returns to New York’s Metropolitan Opera next month for the first of two house role debuts with the company, singing Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata in Willy Decker’s celebrated production (five performances, December 11–27). Then, following house debuts at Austin Lyric Opera and Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, and a reprise of Alfredo at the Vienna State Opera, Costello returns to the Met in the spring to take on the role of Camille in a new all-star treatment of Lehár’s The Merry Widow by Broadway sensation Susan Stroman, with Susan Graham in the title role and Fabio Luisi conducting (four performances, April 24–May 7).  Later this season, the tenor returns to San Francisco Opera in the world premiere of Italian composer Marco Tutino’s Two Women, in which he will create the role of Michele. While preparing for these career firsts, Costello has also found time to introduce a new blog designed to provide advice, encouragement, and inspiration to young singers. His first post, available here, is a Q & A with legendary baritone Sir Thomas Allen.

Stephen Costello comments: “I’m extremely excited to be singing Verdi for the first time at the Met.  So many of the tenors that have inspired me have sung Verdi there, including the legendary Richard Tucker, and it’s amazing to think of myself following in such footsteps. I’m also very happy to be singing with Marina Rebeka, our Violetta, both at the Met and later this season at the Vienna State Opera. Our Germont at the Met will be Ludovic Tézier, whom I greatly admire and enjoyed working with on our recording of Donizetti’s Linda di Chamounix. And of course it’s great to be singing again at the Met with conductor Marco Armiliato.”

(At the Vienna State Opera, Costello and Rebeka will be joined by Dmitri Hvorostovsky as Germont, in a staging by Jean-François Sivadier conducted by Dan Ettinger [March 12–21].)

Described by the Wall Street Journal as possessing “the kind of voice that sets the audience – even at a dress rehearsal – atwitter,” Costello has sung Alfredo in high-profile productions on both sides of the Atlantic. This summer’s performances of the role at San Francisco Opera with his wife, soprano Ailyn Pérez, as Violetta included a simulcast in the company’s Opera in the Ballpark series attended by more than 25,000 people. A spring production at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, featured Costello – also with Pérez – in the company’s first live stream of a complete opera, part of the BP Big Screens 2014 initiative that included streaming not only in public squares and parks around the UK but worldwide. That performance led the Daily Express to marvel, “Costello brought real depth to the part. This young American has risen rapidly to claim a place among the world’s best tenors and recent performances show that he has the acting abilities to match his wonderfully smooth and powerful voice.”

Costello’s history at the Metropolitan Opera has included multiple opening-night productions. In fall 2011, just days before his 30th birthday, he performed the role of Lord Percy in the company’s first production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, with Anna Netrebko in the title role. According to the New York Post, Costello sounded “fresh and virile” in the role, while the New York Times noted that he “won a hearty ovation” with his “impetuous and anguished singing.”

Stephen Costello: upcoming engagements

Dec 11, 16, 19, 22, 27
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Verdi: La traviata (Alfredo)

Jan 24, 29; Feb 1
Austin, TX
Austin Lyric Opera
Gounod: Roméo et Juliette (Roméo)

Feb 21, 22, 24, 27, 28; March 1
Genoa, Italy
Teatro Carlo Felice
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)

March 12, 15, 18, 21
Vienna, Austria
Vienna State Opera
Verdi: La traviata (Alfredo)

April 24, 27, 30; May 7
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Lehár: The Merry Widow (Camille)

June 13, 19, 23, 28, 30
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Opera
Marco Tutino: Two Women (“La Ciociara”) (Michele; world premiere)

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