How To Make Back-To-Back Role Debuts: Stephen Costello
Over the coming months, Stephen Costello – “the all-American tenor … at the top of his game” (Opera News) – makes a pair of back-to-back leading role debuts. This summer he returns to Spain for his house and role debuts as Fernand in a new production of Donizetti’s La favorite at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu (July 10–24). Then fall brings his first performances as Don José in Bizet’s Carmen at the Dallas Opera, where the Tucker Award-winning tenor is already a firm house favorite (Oct 19–Nov 4).
For his first appearances at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu, Costello sings Fernand to Ksenia Dudnikova’s Léonor under the baton of Patrick Summers in a new production of La favorite by the great Argentinean-born actor-director Ariel García Valdés. Although new to the opera, the tenor is no stranger to Donizetti. His star turn in L’elisir d’amore at Glyndebourne prompted The Times of London to marvel that “the best voice on stage belong[ed] to Stephen Costello,” and arias from the composer’s operas form the greater part of the tenor’s solo recording debut, which is due for release on the Deloslabel next season.
In Carmen, Costello stars opposite Stéphanie d’Oustrac under the leadership of Emmanuel Villaume at the Dallas Opera. The production marks the latest in a succession of key role debuts that he has made on the company stage, including Verdi’s Duke of Mantua, Tchaikovsky’s Lensky, and Massenet’s Chevalier des Grieux, of whom the tenor’s portrayal was “nothing short of astonishing” (Opera News). Small wonder that, as the Dallas Observer puts it, “We can’t get enough of operatic tenor Stephen Costello.”
These first performances as Carmen’s leading man launch another full season for the tenor. Highlights of 2018-19 include his role and Japanese operatic debuts as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly at Tokyo’s New National Theatre and his return to New York’s Metropolitan Opera to star in a new take on La traviata by Michael Mayer.