Stephen Costello

Introduction

As the Associated Press observes, Stephen Costello is “a prodigiously gifted singer whose voice makes an immediate impact.” The Philadelphia-born tenor quickly established a reputation as a “first-class talent” (Opera News) after coming to national attention in 2007, when, aged 26, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut on the company’s season-opening night. Two years later Costello won the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, and he has since appeared at many of the world’s most important opera houses and music festivals, including London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the Deutsche Oper Berlin; the Vienna State Opera; and the Salzburg Festival. In 2010 he created the role of Greenhorn (Ishmael) in the Dallas Opera’s world-premiere production of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer’s Moby-Dick, prompting Opera magazine to hail him as “a tenor of ineffable sensitivity, with unfailing elegance in singing and a disconcerting ease in producing notes in head-voice.”

Last season, Costello made his role debut as Donizetti’s Tonio – he of the nine high Cs – in Emilio Sagi’s take on La fille du régiment, which opened the San Diego Opera season. In Europe, the tenor made his Berlin State Opera debut as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème and returned to the Vienna State Opera as Nemorino. As another of Donizetti’s leading men, Costello proved “an ideal Edgardo” (Stage-Door) in David Alden’s groundbreaking treatment of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Canadian Opera Company, before demonstrating his “dramatic versatility and playfulness” (New York Times) at two outdoor concerts in New York’s Metropolitan Opera Summer Recital Series.

This season Costello makes his Washington National Opera debut with a reprise of his “bright-toned, sympathetic Greenhorn” (San Francisco Chronicle) in Moby-Dick, while the San Francisco Opera’s presentation of the Heggie/Scheer opera, in which the tenor made his house debut last season, will be televised nationwide on PBS’s Great Performances. Other highlights of Costello’s 2013-14 season include his Houston Grand Opera debut as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi’s Rigoletto, and his return to the Vienna State Opera in two favorite Donizetti roles: Percy in Anna Bolena and Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, the latter also serving as the vehicle for his second Washington National Opera engagement. Opposite his wife and frequent co-star, soprano Ailyn Pérez, Costello assumes another signature role – Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata – in productions at Hamburg’s State Opera, London’s Royal Opera House, and the San Francisco Opera. He reunites with Pérez for Rigoletto in Hamburg, besides joining her for a recital of operatic duets in Philadelphia and for a gala concert celebrating Richard Tucker’s centennial at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall.

NB for a full up-to-date biography please contact Rachel Walters  

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News & Features

Repertoire

Operatic Repertoire

BELLINI - I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Tebaldo
BELLINI - La sonnambula, Elvino
BIZET - Les Percheurs de Perles, Nadir
DELIBES - Lakme, Gerald
DONIZETTI - Anna Bolena, Percy
DONIZETTI - Don Pasquale, Ernesto
DONIZETTI - L'elisir d'amore, Nemorino
DONIZETTI - La fille du Regiment, Tonio
DONIZETTI - Lucia di Lammermoor, Edgardo
DONIZETTI - Maria Stuarda, Leicester
DONIZETTI - Roberto Devereux, Roberto
GOUNOD - Faust, Faust
GOUNOD - Romeo et Juliette, Romeo
MASCAGNI - L'Amico Fritz, Fritz
MASSENET - Manon, Des Grieux
PUCCINI - Gianni Schicchi, Rinuccio
PUCCINI - La Boheme, Rodolfo
ROSSINI - Guillaume Tell, Fisherman
STRAUSS - Der Rosenkavalier, Italian Tenor
VERDI - Falstaff, Fenton
VERDI - La Traviata, Alfredo
VERDI - Otello, Cassio
VERDI - Rigoletto, Duke

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  • GOUNOD Romeo's aria from Romeo et Juliette

Schedule

Baltimore Opera, Baltimore


Toujours L'Amour - A Celebration of French Grand Opera

Opera stars Tenor Stephen Costello and Soprano Nicole Cabell will be our soloists, both renowned internationally for their sensational vocalism, stage glamour and personal charisma. Baltimore favorite Edward Polochick will lead The Baltimore Concert Artists Orchestra in this magnificent event sure to sparkle with romantic delight. Vive l’Opéra!

Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London

VERDI: La Traviata
 
Violetta Valéry Ailyn Pérez
Alfredo Germont Stephen Costello 
Giorgio Germont Simon Keenlyside
Baron Douphol Ashley Riches
Doctor Grenvil Jihoon Kim
Flora Bervoix Nadezhda Karyazina 
Marquis D'Obigny Charbel Mattar
Gastone de Letorières David Butt Philip  
Annina Gaynor Keeble
Giuseppe Neil Gillespie 
Messenger John Bernays 

Director Richard Eyre 
Conductor Dan Ettinger
Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London

VERDI: La Traviata
 
Violetta Valéry Ailyn Pérez
Alfredo Germont Stephen Costello 
Giorgio Germont Simon Keenlyside
Baron Douphol Ashley Riches
Doctor Grenvil Jihoon Kim
Flora Bervoix Nadezhda Karyazina 
Marquis D'Obigny Charbel Mattar
Gastone de Letorières David Butt Philip  
Annina Gaynor Keeble
Giuseppe Neil Gillespie 
Messenger John Bernays 

Director Richard Eyre 
Conductor Dan Ettinger
Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London

VERDI: La Traviata
 
Violetta Valéry Ailyn Pérez
Alfredo Germont Stephen Costello 
Giorgio Germont Simon Keenlyside
Baron Douphol Ashley Riches
Doctor Grenvil Jihoon Kim
Flora Bervoix Nadezhda Karyazina 
Marquis D'Obigny Charbel Mattar
Gastone de Letorières David Butt Philip  
Annina Gaynor Keeble
Giuseppe Neil Gillespie 
Messenger John Bernays 

Director Richard Eyre 
Conductor Dan Ettinger
Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Royal Opera House Covent Garden, London

VERDI: La Traviata
 
Violetta Valéry Ailyn Pérez
Alfredo Germont Stephen Costello 
Giorgio Germont Simon Keenlyside
Baron Douphol Ashley Riches
Doctor Grenvil Jihoon Kim
Flora Bervoix Nadezhda Karyazina 
Marquis D'Obigny Charbel Mattar
Gastone de Letorières David Butt Philip  
Annina Gaynor Keeble
Giuseppe Neil Gillespie 
Messenger John Bernays 

Director Richard Eyre 
Conductor Dan Ettinger
Royal Opera Chorus Orchestra 
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Carnegie Hall, New York

Program
DONIZETTI - Roberto Devereux

Performers
The Opera Orchestra of New York
Eve Queler, Conductor

Mariella Devia, Soprano
Géraldine Chauvet, Mezzo-Soprano
Stephen Costello, Tenor
David Pershall, Baritone




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Press

Wall Street Journal article

Stephen and Ailyn interview

New York

Wall Street Journal article about Stephen and Ailyn Elisabeth Braw, 23 January 2014

Tucker Gala

Avery Fisher Hall

"In a deliciously comic scene with her husband and fellow Tucker Prize recipient, Stephen Costello, [Ailyn Perez] showed her sassy side, as Norina played hard to get in “Esulti pur la Barbara,” from “L’Elisir d’Amore.” Each revealed a perfect grasp of comic timing in acting and singing. 

Mr. Costello’s bright, ringing top notes came through in Gounod’s “Salut! Demeure chaste et pure,” from “Faust.”

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times, 18 November 2013

Donizetti

Lucia di Lammermoor

Canadian Opera Company, Toronto

"Stephen Costello’s Edgardo is another masterful performance, eschewing the standard romantic tenor for something rugged and more convincing. A bit of Glaswegian steampunk in his costume and a voice that rang out time and time again with purity and passion made for an unbeatable combination." Richard Ouzounian, Theatre Critic, 18 April 2013

Donizetti

La Fille du Regiment - Tonio

San Diego Opera

"Tonio’s nail biting “Pour mon âme” finds Costello hitting the nine high Cs with an introductory staccato adding a splendid, dramatic extension, and he effortlessly holds on to the concluding note with charismatic tenuto. It’s one the most memorable highlights of the opera."

ConcertoNet.com, January 2013
"Costello was completely convincing as Tonio, her suitor who joins the army just so her can marry her (then he runs up against the Marquise)."  U-T San Diego, 27 January 2013

Heggie

Moby Dick

San Francisco Opera

"Tenor Stephen Costello sang the role of Greenhorn – the Ishmael of the novel – with sympathetic tone and an attention to the character’s journey from innocence to experience."
Bachtrack, October 2012

Verdi

La Traviata - Alfredo

Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

"The first cast ... lacked stage chemistry. But from the moment Ermonela Jaho meets her Alfredo in the form of Stephen Costello in her glittering salon, you sense the electricity between them...Jaho’s gestures and attitudes have an expressive grace for which Costello’s airy, boyish lyricism makes the ideal foil."

  The Independent, January 2012

Donizetti

Anna Bolena - Percy

Metropolitan Opera, New York

"and it was good to hear the young American tenor Stephen Costello back on ringing form.." The Sunday Times, October 2011
"As the hapless Percy, Anna’s former lover — and possibly husband — tenor Stephen Costello sang with fervent lyricism and coped extremely well with the many daunting high notes in the role." Washington Post, September 2011

Gounod

Romeo et Juliette

Opera Company of Philadelphia

"But the chief attraction is the casting of America's fastest-rising husband-and-wife opera stars in the title roles: tenor Stephen Costello and soprano Ailyn Perez. Young, attractive singers who are proud alumnae of the Academy's training program, they made the performance a memorable one.
 
Costello, winner of the 2009 Richard Tucker Award, is a prodigiously gifted singer whose voice makes an immediate impact. There's an unforced warmth and generosity to his sound, and his big aria, "Ah! Leve-toi, soleil!" ("Arise, o sun!") showed excellent control over phrasing and dynamics. Occasionally he pushes up to a high note from below — but once reached, those notes ring out excitingly."
Associated Press, February 2011
"Costello gave the type of solid performance that has earned him major roles at the Metropolitan, where he will be the leading tenor in next season's opening night Anna Bolena. The quality that differentiates Costello is his solid voice that retains a defined character no matter where he is on the scale. It is a bit baritonal, reminiscent of Plácido Domingo's sound. In addition, Costello employs stylish diminuendos and graceful, classy phrasing." Opera Critic, February 2011

Recordings