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Stephen Costello Previews Met Title Role Debut in Roméo et Juliette (March 3–18) with Special Valentine’s Day Event at The Greene Space

As Opera News notes in a “Spotlight” double-page spread in the just-published February issue, Tucker Award-winning tenor Stephen Costello is now “at the top of his game.” This spring, marking his house title role debut, he headlines Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette (March 3–18) at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, starring opposite Pretty Yende in Bartlett Sher’s hit staging. By way of a preview, Costello and Yende will each sing romantic arias from the opera in a special Valentine’s Day edition of WQXR’S Classical Beer Jam at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in downtown Manhattan, marking their first public appearance together (Feb 14). Opera lovers around the world can catch a live webcast of the performance on Facebook and Meanwhile, the tenor may already be seen at the Met, channeling Frank Sinatra as the Duke of Mantua in Michael Mayer’s Vegas setting of Verdi’s Rigoletto (Jan 20–Feb 4), to which, last year, the New York Times found his “bright tenor … perfectly suited.”

Shakespeare’s star-crossed lover has long been a signature role for the tenor. At San Diego Opera, the San Diego News Network declared his Roméo “electrifying,” and San Diego Arts marveled:

“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.”

Similarly, at Santa Fe opera last summer, the Wall Street Journal observed: “Costello was a stunning Roméo, his tenor beautifully poised and free, ardent without pushing,” and the Santa Fe Reporter named his as the best performance by a male singer of the entire season.

For his first Met Roméo, Costello reunites with conductor Emmanuel Villaume, who led him in two productions in Dallas last fall. As for his current return to Michael Mayer’s groundbreaking “Rat Pack” take on Rigoletto at the Met, when it was originally mounted the New York Classical Review called it “one of the great successes of the Peter Gelb era,” and Costello’s performance was singled out for special praise:

“The cast in this year’s production adds to Mayer’s concept, especially tenor Stephen Costello as the Duke. Costello is a fine Verdian tenor, with an ideal range and a rounded, colorful sound. … [He] sang the character, who must be attractive and repellent at the same time, beautifully.”

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This string of high-profile New York engagements notwithstanding, the tenor remains a Philly boy at heart. Click here (segment three, which starts at 18 minutes) to see a profile of Costello at home with his unpretentious Philadelphia family, courtesy of WHYY TV’s “Articulate.

High-resolution photos can be downloaded here.

Stephen Costello: upcoming engagements

Jan 20, 26, 30; Feb 4
New York
Metropolitan Opera
Verdi: Rigoletto (Duke of Mantua)

Feb 14
New York
The Greene Space (webcast live at Facebook and
WQXR’S Classical Beer Jam: Valentine’s Day edition
With Pretty Yende, soprano

March 3, 8, 11, 15, & 18
New York
Metropolitan Opera
Gounod: Roméo et Juliette (Roméo)

May 10, 12, & 14
Moscow, Russia
Bolshoi Theatre
Verdi: La traviata (Alfredo)

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© 21C Media Group, January 2017

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