Press Room

Stephen Costello Sings Opposite Anna Netrebko in Donizetti’s Anna Bolena for Met Opera’s First HD Transmission of Season (Sat, Oct 15)

Stephen Costello continues his winning run as Lord Percy opposite Anna Netrebko in the title role of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena this Saturday, October 15, in a matinee performance that will be transmitted to movie theaters worldwide in the company’s popular “Live in HD” series. Described by Opera News as “a first-class talent,” Costello will also perform in a more intimate setting this weekend on Sunday, October 16 when the George London Foundation presents him in a duo recital with his wife, soprano Ailyn Pérez, and pianist Ken Noda at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City. Both Costello and Pérez are George London Award winners, and in May 2012 they will perform together again when Costello makes his debut at the Los Angeles Opera, singing Rodolfo to his wife’s Mimì in Puccini’s La bohème.
Costello’s first performance as Lord Percy at the Metropolitan Opera took place on the opening night of the company’s new season, just days before his 30th birthday. With Anna Netrebko in the title role, the Met’s new production of Anna Bolena marked the debut of Donizetti’s breakthrough opera at the Met. Anthony Tommasini reported on the occasion for the New York Times:
“Tenor Stephen Costello won a hearty ovation for his Riccardo (Lord Percy, Anna’s former lover). This was a big assignment for the gifted and game young tenor. Costello captured the character’s consuming adoration for Anna through his impetuous and anguished singing. The role includes a touchstone tenor aria, ‘Vivi tu,’ in which the condemned Riccardo implores his friend Lord Rocheford (Anna’s brother, here the solid bass-baritone Keith Miller) to evade the king’s wrath and go on living. Costello mostly navigated the music’s demanding passagework and exposed high notes. To hear this rising artist stretching himself was part of the excitement.”
In a feature story preceding the opening, the Wall Street Journal described Costello as “a Philadelphia kid who sings like he’s from Milan,” noting: “Stephen Costello has the kind of voice that sets the audience – even at a dress rehearsal – atwitter.” Buzz about the production and performances at the Met prompted Charlie Rose to extend an invitation for an interview to Costello, Netrebko, and the Met’s General Manager, Peter Gelb; their conversation aired on Monday, October 10 (and is now available here).
After Saturday’s performance, Costello and the rest of the “Bolena” cast return for four additional performances this month (Oct 18, 21, 24, & 28), plus encore performances in early 2012 (Feb 1 & 4).
Highlighting the recital program at the Morgan Library is the world premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s Bel Canto Songs, which Pérez will sing along with a selection of Spanish songs by Obradors and “Salce, salce” and “Ave Maria” from Verdi’s Otello. Costello will perform selections by Liszt and Tosti, and the two will conclude the program with “Suzel, buon di…Tutto face” (“Cherry Duet”) from Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz.
Costello met the Chicago-born Ailyn Pérez at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts, and they often perform together as the lead romantic couple, including last season in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. In addition to their spring performances at Los Angeles Opera, they will also appear together this season in Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz with the Moscow Philharmonic and in La traviata at Cincinnati Opera. Following a performance together in La bohème at Cincinnati Opera, the Enquirer wrote enthusiastically about “the young newlyweds,” calling Costello’s Rodolfo “wonderfully sung” and Pérez’s Mimì “radiant.” The reviewer added: “Costello’s fresh, Italianate tenor was consistently a joy to hear. …Mimì and Rodolfo’s duet, ‘O soave fanciulla’ was stunning for the singers’ warmth of tone and effortless high notes.”
Additional highlights of Costello’s 2011-12 season include his company role debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and performances for the second consecutive season at the Vienna State Opera, where he recreates one of his favorite characters, Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. His other upcoming engagements include concert performances as Leicester in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, to be recorded at the Gasteig in Munich, and Edgardo in Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor at Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville. A full list of Costello’s season engagements follow below.
Stephen Costello: upcoming engagements
October 15
New York, New York
Metropolitan Opera (matinee with Live in HD simulcast)
Donizetti’s Anna Bolena (Percy)
Additional fall performances: Oct 18, 21, 24, & 28
October 16
New York, NY
The Morgan Library and Museum
George London Foundation Benefit Concert
November 8
Vienna, Austria
Vienna State Opera
Donizetti: L’elisir d’amore (Nemorino)
Additional performances: Nov 11, 15, & 18
December 2 & 5
Munich, Germany
Munich Gasteig Hal
Munich Opera Orchestra / Massimillano Murrali
Concert performances of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda (Leicester)
January 2, 2012
London, England
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Verdi: La traviata (Alfredo)
Additional performances: Jan 6, 9, 17, & 20
February 1 & 4
New York, NY
Metropolitan Opera
Donizetti’s Anna Bolena (Percy)
March 17
Seville, Spain
Teatro de la Maestranza
Donizetti: Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)
Additional performances: March 20, 23, 27, & 30
May 12
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles Opera
Puccini: La bohème (Rodolfo)
Additional performances: May 20, 23, 26, & 31; June 2
June 25
Moscow, Russia
Moscow State Philharmonic Society
L’amico Fritz (Fritz)
July 25, 27, & 29
Cincinnati, OH
Cincinnati Opera
Verdi: La traviata (Alfredo)
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