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Stephen Costello Launches 2015-16 with Back-to-Back Productions at Met, Before Starring in New ROH Lucia, Making Santa Fe Opera Debut as Roméo, and More

“A prodigiously gifted singer whose voice makes an immediate impact” (Associated Press)

Tucker Award-winning tenor Stephen Costello launches his 2015-16 season with two fall productions at the Metropolitan Opera, making his company role debut as the Duke of Mantua in Michael Mayer’s electrifying Vegas setting of Verdi’s Rigoletto and reprising the role of Lord Percy alongside Sondra Radvanovsky, Ildar Abdrazakov, and Jamie Barton in Sir David McVicar’s period staging of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena. Other season highlights include several notable firsts: besides making house role debuts as Verdi’s Duke at Madrid’s Teatro Real, Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon at Dallas Opera, and Edgardo in a new production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at London’s Royal Opera House, Costello makes his Santa Fe Opera debut in the title role of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette and joins the Boston Philharmonic for his first Verdi Requiem. He also looks forward to revisiting his signature portrayal of Donizetti’s Nemorino in Otto Schenk’s new staging of L’elisir d’amore at the Vienna State Opera, as well as a performance at the annual Richard Tucker Opera Gala in New York.

Costello comments:

“I’m so excited to be performing so many of my favorite roles this season at opera houses that are so important to me. With the fresh experiences that I bring to these roles, and I hope an increased artistic maturity, I’m looking forward to delving into these characters with special urgency and commitment. Last year presented many challenges to me, both personally and professionally, but what I learned about myself, and about the importance of music in my life, only heightens my anticipation for the adventures ahead.”

The tenor’s return to Covent Garden follows his triumphant appearances there last season as the male lead in La traviata, when the Daily Express marveled,

“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.”

He also just made his Hollywood Bowl debut in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s production of La traviata, filling in as Alfredo for an indisposed Francesco Demuro. Under the heading “Substitutes shine in Traviata,” the Los Angeles Times concluded: “Costello’s Alfredo was deeper than some, more sensitive than most and vocally convincing.”

Costello’s 2015-16 lineup features many of the roles on which he has already made his mark. It was as the Duke of Mantua that he made his Houston Grand Opera debut last year, prompting Houston Culture Map to name him “the sensation of the night,” and Theater Jones to pronounce him “one of the best lyric tenors in the business.” Similarly, his account of Gounod’s Roméo at San Diego Opera scored bona fide raves, including this one from San Diego Arts:

“To describe the tall, broad-shouldered Costello as dashing is like calling Bill Gates well-off. And when Costello holds his gorgeous high notes just a few beats longer without the slightest sense of strain – now that is why folks come to the opera! … [I] doubt there is another tenor singing today better suited to this role.”

One of today’s most compelling exponents of Donizetti’s lovelorn peasant, Costello’s Nemorino has been justly celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic. Last March at Washington National Opera, it was he who was greeted with “the warmest applause of the night” (Washington Post), while at Glyndebourne, Arts Desk declared his portrayal “a revelation,” and The Times stated simply: “The best voice on stage belongs to Stephen Costello.

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.


Stephen Costello: upcoming engagements

Sep 26; Oct 1 & 5
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Anna Bolena (Percy)

Oct 20, 23, 28, 31; Nov 4, 7, 10
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Rigoletto (Duca)

Nov 1
New York, NY
2015 Richard Tucker Opera Gala

Nov 30; Dec 3, 6, 10, 15, 19
Madrid, Spain
Teatro Real
Rigoletto (Duca)

Jan 5 & 9
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Anna Bolena (Percy)

Jan 26
Prague, Czech Republic
Smetana Hall
Recital with Marina Rebeka, Angel Joy Blue and PKF-Prague Philharmonia

March 4, 6, 9, 12
Dallas, TX
Dallas Opera
Manon (Des Grieux)

April 24
Boston, MA
Boston Philharmonic
Verdi: Requiem

May 11, 14, 16, 19
London, UK
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)

June 10 & 13, 2016
Vienna, Austria
Wiener Staatsoper
L’elisir d’amore (Nemorino)

July 16, 20, 29; Aug 4, 9, 16, 25
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Opera
Roméo et Juliette (Roméo)

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© 21C Media Group, August 2015

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