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