Stephen Costello

“A te, o cara: Stephen Costello sings bel canto”

Stephen’s debut solo disc is now available on iTunes and Apple Music

Further information here

© Dario Acosta


“a prodigiously gifted singer whose voice makes an immediate impact” (Associate Press).

Philadelphia-born tenor Stephen Costello 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 has since appeared at many of the world’s most important opera houses and music festivals, including the Metropolitan Opera; Royal Opera House; Deutsche Oper Berlin; Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin; Paris Opera; Semperoper Dresden; Vienna State Opera; Teatro Real Madrid; Liceu Barcelona; Bayerische Staatsoper Munich and the Salzburg Festival.

The 2019-20 season features Rodolfo La bohème return at Semperoper Dresden and Staatsoper Hamburg, a house debut at Opernhaus Zürich in a staged production of Verdi’s Requiem, Paris Opera as des Grieux in a new production of Massenet’s Manon and Ferrando in Così fan tutte and returns to The Metropolitan Opera as Leicester in Maria Stuarda.

Stephen won the 2009 Richard Tucker Award, First Prize in the 2006 George London Foundation Awards Competition, First Prize and Audience Prize in the Giargiari Bel Canto Competition, and First Prize in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition.


From The Green Room

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    17 Jul 19 VERDI Rigoletto (Duca)
    Bregenzer Festspiele

    “Dass sich auf der riesigen Bühne so etwas wie Intimität einstellt, das liegt auch an den Musikern. Stephen Costello ist ein viriler und stimmlich schneidiger Herzog, der sich mühelos in die Herzen der Frauen singt.”
    “The intimacy of the gigantic stage is also down to the musicians: Stephen Costello is a virile and vocally dashing duke who effortlessly sings into the hearts of women.”
    Judith Belfkih, Wiener Zeitung

    “Die Hauptrollen sind mit passenden Stimmen besetzt: Stephen Costello gibt einen Duca mit verführerischem Schmelz…”
    “The main roles are filled with suitable voices: Stephen Costello gives a Duca with seductive smelt…”
    Moritz Weber, SRF Schweizer Rundfunk und Fernsehen

    “Stephen Costello als Verführer schafft es freilich mit stählern-arrogantem Tenor, die ihm verfallene junge Frau selbst dann noch zu bezirzen, als sie seinen Betrug erkannt hat.”
    “Stephen Costello as a seducer, of course, with steely-arrogant tenor manages to charm the decayed young woman even when she has recognized his fraud.”
    Werner M. Grimmel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

    “Stephen Costello bewältigte die strapaziöse Partie des Duca di Mantua bravourös”
    “Stephen Costello mastered the grueling role of Duca di Mantua brilliantly”
    Stefan Dender, Der Standard

    “Mit STEPHEN COSTELLO stand ein kräftiger Tenor für die Rolle des Herzog von Mantua auf der Bühne, welcher ebenfalls beeindruckte.”
    “With STEPHEN COSTELLO there was a strong tenor for the role of the Duke of Mantua on stage, which also impressed.”
    Marco Stücklin, Das Opernmagazin

    “Stephen Costello est un duc de Mantoue très bien chantant, à la voix claire et percutante.”
    “Stephen Costello is a Duke of Mantua very well singing, with a clear and percussive voice.”
    Jean-Marcel Humbert, Forum Opera

    “Ein tenoral beeindruckend viriles Mannsbild stellte Stephen Costellos Herzog dar; für sein „Quest’o quella“, die oft nach „Parmi veder le lagrime“ gestrichene Cabaletta „Possente amor mi chiama“ – befremdlich auf einer Leiter zu singen – wurde er zurecht gefeiert.”
    “A tenoral, impressively virile man image depicting Stephen Costello’s Duke, he was rightly celebrated for his” Quest’o quella, “the Cabaletta” Possente amor mi chiama “, often painted after” Parmi veder le lagrime “- oddly singing on a ladder.”
    Wolf-Dieter Peter, Neue Musikzeitung

    “Stephen Costello gibt diesem skrupellosen Frauenjäger mit seinem höhensicheren, strahlkräftigen Tenor das notwendige Standing. Und hat genügend Schmelz, um, als Student verkleidet, Rigolettos Tochter Gilda zu betören.”
    “Stephen Costello gives this unscrupulous woman hunter the necessary standing with his high-pitched, radiant tenor, and has enough enamel to disguise Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda as a student.”
    Georg Rudiger, Die Deutsche Bühne

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    20 Oct 18 BIZET Carmen (Don Jose)
    Dallas Opera

    “Vocally, Costello has never sounded better…There is evenness to his voice, without any change from top to bottom that is rare in singers these days. When he opens up to raw emotion and abandons his character’s usual control in the final dénouement with Carmen, he commands the stage and puts the audience on the edge of their seats.”

    Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones, 21 October 2018

    “Tenor Stephen Costello acted the part of the conflicted Don Jose convincingly…he was at his best in the violent final scene, finding some musical freedom in the wide range of emotions in this section.”

    Wayne Lee Gay, Texas Classical Review, 20 October 2018

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    21 Jan 18 VERDI Rigoletto (Duke)
    Canadian Opera Company, Toronto

    “Stephen Costello’s Duke is a swaggering monster; never sincere or capable of real human emotion. As such, he encapsulates the production concept exactly. The unpleasantness of the character contrasts with the beauty of his singing. From his opening aria, through the many appearances of “La donna e mobile”, he produced an Italianate sound with high notes that rang round the house.”

    John Gilks, Bach Track, 21 January 2018 

    “Costello is a fabulous singer. I would classify him as the best American operatic tenor the world has right now. He produces the kind of ringing, opera house-filling notes that give opera lovers goosebumps.”

    John Terauds, The Star, 21 January 2018 

    “Stephen Costello sang the Duke with robust, consistently beautiful tone.”

    Gianmarco Segato, Opera Canada, 21 January 2018 

    “Wood’s Rigoletto is foiled by Stephen Costello as the Duke of Mantua, whose easy, cocky sound is brilliantly offensive and unfortunately beautiful.”

    Jenna Simeonov, The Globe and Mail, 21 January 2018

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    09 Sep 17 LEHAR Die Lustige Witwe (Camille)
    Opera de Paris

    “Interprétant Camille de Rosillon, le ténor américain Stephen Costello, fait lui aussi de très beaux débuts parisiens. On est d’emblée séduit par cette voix superbement projetée”

    “Interpreter Camille de Rosillon, the American tenor Stephen Costello , also made very beautiful Parisian debut. We are immediately seduced by this beautifully projected voice”
    Jean-Marc Piriou, Bachtrack, 16 September 2017

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    03 Mar 17 GOUNOD Roméo et Juliette (Roméo)
    The Metropolitan Opera

    “a stylish, vocally appealing Roméo, and a handsome one, too”
    Opera Magazine, May 2017

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    21 Jan 17 VERDI Rigoletto (Duca)
    The Metropolitan Opera

    “The handsome and talented up- and- coming Stephen Costello is excellent as the Duke. He is a “player” and his good looks fit the part.”
    Milette Shanon, Broadway World, 30 January 2017

    “Setting the tone for the revival, Stephen Costello played the Duke as a high-rolling cocaine addict, throwing in twitches and spasms for comic effect…

    Friday’s showing included several excellent performances, beginning with Costello… he sported a firm, solid tenor that could get all the way up to the role’s highest reaches. He showed a natural lyrical sense, especially in his monologue at the top of Act II, “Ella mi fu rapita!” … Costello sang the music with suave confidence.”
    Eric C. Simpson, New York Classical Review, 21 January 2017

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    04 Nov 16 Heggie Moby Dick (Greenhorn)
    Dallas Opera

    “Stephen Costello is brilliantly reprising his role of Greenhorn (and just wrapped the role of Lensky in Dallas Opera’s final Eugene Onegin performance Saturday). His voice is powerful yet youthful-sounding, and brings needed poignancy to the role.”
    J. Robin Coffelt, Texas Classical Review, 6 November 2016

    “Stephen Costello’s aura of innocence is perfect for Greenhorn”
    Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 5 November 2016

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    28 Oct 16 Tchaikovsky Eugene Onegin (Lensky)
    Dallas Opera

    “Another major character is Lensky, who is eventually killed by Onegin in a duel. Tenor Stephen Costello made a major impression in the part. His role as Olga’s jealous love was convincing, and Lensky’s soliloquy as he awaits the duel was one of the high points of Sunday afternoon’s performance.”
    Olin Chism, Star-Telegram, 31 October 2016  

    “Stephen Costello is fully engaged as the hotheaded Lensky”
    Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, 29 October 2016

    “Stephen Costello, as Lensky, is spectacular in his upper registers”
    Robin Coffelt, Texas Classical Review, 29 October 2016

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    01 Oct 16 Strauss Der Rosenkavalier (Italian Tenor)
    Boston Symphony Orchestra cond. Andris Nelsons, Symphony Hall Boston

    “Stephen Costello as the elegant Italian Singer, whose dulcet and fervent tone was perfectly attuned to his character stood out”
    John Ehrlich, The Boston Musical Intelligencer, 30 Sept ‘16

    “The standout was Stephen Costello as the Italian singer, who sang with ringing brilliance”
    Aaron Keebaugh, Boston Classical Review, 30 Sept ‘16 

    “Stephen Costello filled the hall with Italianate squillo and thrilling top notes as he navigated with aplomb the many landmines in the treacherous pastiche Strauss wrote for The Italian Singer. Had the score invited applause, he would have stopped the show.”
    Kevin Wells, Bachtrack, 3 Oct ‘16

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    16 Jul 16 Gounod Roméo et Juliette (Roméo)
    Santa Fe Opera

    “His gleaming tenor showed even warmth throughout his range, and his attention to the details of the score reflected a commendable attitude of deeply imbued musicianship. His performance combined dramatic urgency with unerring vocal tastefulness, and, what’s more, he sang convincingly in French. This served him especially well in his tête-à-tête with Frère Laurent at the top of Act III, an exchange that came across as sincere and unaffected. Of all the cast, he was the one you could imagine stepping offstage and picking up a conversation quite naturally in that language.”
    James M. Keller, Santa Fe New Mexican, 18 July 2016

    “Stephen Costello makes a winning SFO debut as the luckless Roméo.”
    John Stege, Santa Fe Reporter, 20 July 2016

    “Tenor Stephen Costello, who made his Santa Fe debut last night, is at the pivotal moment in his career. He has the most beautiful tenor I’ve heard in decades and his lyric voice is large and easily carries throughout the auditorium.”
    Neil Kurtzman, Medicine & Opera, 17 July 2016

    “Stephen Costello was a stunning Roméo, his tenor beautifully poised and free, ardent without pushing.”
    Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal, 9 August 2016 

    “As Romeo, Stephen Costello gives a masterful performance to be reprised at the Metropolitan Opera in March. He sneaks into the ball disguised. Costello suggests the deep pleasure we will have in his devastating performance to follow.” …

    “As the opera unfolds, Costello comes into his own. Since he was first singled out in high school musical productions and greeted at his Metropolitan Opera debut by a busload of his townfolk who arrived from southern New Jersey on a moment’s notice. Moving up from cover to star in twenty-four hours, Costello has studied under the wing of the pre-eminent music teacher Bill Schuman.”

    “Costello always suggested not only great promise, and the possibility of a singular career of a great divo. He realizes the promise in this role. With a slight edge and texture to an otherwise lovely voice, he has added emotional depth and phrasing to his take on this role. It is a magnificent, career defining performance which should launch the tenor into the upper stratosphere of opera. He deserves his place there.” …

    “Gounod’s orchestration is memorably presented by Bicket and Costello’s perfect singing of the difficult Romeo role are highlights of this luscious evening.”

    Susan Hall, ConcertoNet.com, 18 August 2016 

    “As Romeo, Costello was in thrilling voice, especially in the big moments such as a knock ‘em dead “Ah! Lêve-toi soleil,” with his bright, clarion tenor and brilliant high notes. When he chose to use his mezza voce and in particular his hushed pianissimi in the quieter moments like the love duet, the effect was magical.

    Dramatically he fully embodied the character of Romeo, romantic, ardent, gentle, and heart felt.”
    Joseph So, Musical Toronto, 15 August 2016 

    “Mr. Costello in particular, comes across in SFO’s production as a youthful, almost winsome Romeo, but also surprises us with his powerful, substantial tenor delivery—perhaps the most vocally impeccable, sweeping interpretations of this role we have yet heard.”
    Terry Ponick, Communities Digital News, 17 August 2016 

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    11 May 16 Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)
    Royal Opera House

    “Stephen Costello sang a mellifluous Edgardo … the tone is lovely. He and Ruciński led a full-blooded account of the great Sextet”
    Mark Pullinger, Bachtrack, 12 May ‘16

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    04 Mar 16 Puccini Manon (des Grieux)
    Winspear Opera House, Dallas Opera

    “Stephen Costello is well known locally and has impressed before.. He was wonderful in the Dallas Opera’s world premiere of Moby-Dick… Vocally, he is in his prime and sounds even better than he did recently at the Houston Grand Opera as the Duke in Verdi’s Rigoletto.”
    Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, North Texas Performing Arts News, 6 March 2016

    “Tenor Stephen Costello gave a stellar performance as Chevalier des Grieux, a character whose life is destroyed by his love for Manon. Besides a brief moment in which Costello swallowed a word or two, his smooth voice and clear tones depicted perfectly the character’s moral decline and his descent into dishonor because he was unable to refuse Manon’s every request. His painful expression when forced to gamble was touching and the aria “En fermant les jeux” will make you fall in love with him.”
    Monica Hinman, Dallas Observer, 6 March 2016

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    20 Oct 15 Verdi Rigoletto (Duke of Mantua)
    The Metropolitan Opera

    “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 … Costello also used touches of rubato to give his phrases the conversational quality, essential to Verdi singing … Costello sang the character, who must be attractive and repellent at the same time, beautifully.”
    George Grella, New York Classical Review, 21 October 2015

    “Stephen Costello, as the Duke, sang with a bright tenor that seemed coated in Teflon. Smooth, dependable but emotionally nonreactive, his voice was perfectly suited to a character who remains impervious to the suffering he causes.”
    Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times, 21 October 2015

    “The principal singers were expertly cast, particularly the toothsome Stephen Costello as the Duke of Mantua. His debauched “dreamboat” provided him the perfect blend of drunk confidence. His “La donna e mobile” avoided cliche by exuding a sense of dark menace.”
    Sacha Evans, Bachtrack, 25 October 2015

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    26 Sep 15 Donizetti Anna Bolena (Riccardo Percy)
    The Metropolitan Opera

    “The gifted young tenor Stephen Costello … sang with robust sound and impetuous fervor.”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 27 September 2015

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    24 May 13 Donizetti Lucia di Lammermoor (Edgardo)
    Canadian Opera Company

    “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

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    01 Jan 13 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

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    01 Oct 12 Heggie Moby Dick (Greenhorn)
    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

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    01 Oct 11 Donizetti Anna Bolena (Percy)
    The Metropolitan Opera

    “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

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    01 Feb 11 Gounod Roméo et Juliette
    Philadelphia Opera

    “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



I Capuleti e i Montecchi Tebaldo
La sonnambula Elvino

Carmen Don José
Les Percheurs de Perles Nadir

Lakme Gerald

Anna Bolena Percy
Don Pasquale Ernesto
L’elisir d’amore Nemorino
La favorite Fernand
La fille du Regiment Tonio
Linda di Chamounix Visconte di Sirval
Lucia di Lammermoor Edgardo
Maria Stuarda Leicester
Roberto Devereux Roberto

Faust title role
Roméo et Juliette title role

Moby-Dick Greenhorn

Die lustige Witwe Camille de Rosillon

L’Amico Fritz title role

Manon Des Grieux

Cosi fan tutte Ferrando

Gianni Schicchi Rinuccio
La bohème Rodolfo

Guillaume Tell Fisherman

Der Rosenkavalier Italian Tenor

King Roger Shepherd

Eugene Onegin Lensky

Falstaff Fenton
La traviata Alfredo
Otello Cassio
Rigoletto Il Duca di Mantova


ROSSINI Stabat Mater
VERDI Messa di Requiem