Stephen Costello, Donizetti
Richard Tucker Award-winner Stephen Costello made his role debut as Tonio in La fille du régiment at San Diego Opera last month. This auspicious start marked the first of the tenor's three Donizetti leads this year, the next of which sees him return to the Vienna State Opera to sing Nemorino in L'elisir d'amore opposite his wife and frequent co-star, Ailyn Pérez, (March 1-8) before taking on Edgardo in David Alden's groundbreaking staging of Lucia di Lammermoor at the Canadian Opera Company (April 17-May 24).
Now Costello returns for a third consecutive season to the Vienna State Opera, singing Nemorino opposite his wife and fellow Tucker Award-winner, soprano Ailyn Pérez, in Otto Schenk's iconic staging of L'elisir d'amore. Stephen had this to say about his upcoming performance: "I'm very excited to return to Vienna to sing a great opera at a beautiful house, alongside my beautiful wife, Ailyn, who I have not seen in over a month. The audiences there are wonderful, it's a great company to work for, and many great artists have performed this role on that stage, so it is incredible to be part of it."
The tenor's Nemorino has been justly celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic, inspiring Opera News (speaking of his Michigan Opera Theatre performances) to pronounce him "a first-rate talent"; the UK's Arts Desk declared that, at Glyndebourne, "Costello's Nemorino was a revelation." His collaborations with Pérez have also consistently won praise for their potent chemistry; the two are profiled in the cover story of Classical Singer's February 2013 issue, they were featured in the June 2012 Issue of Vanity Fair, and they were recently billed as "opera's hottest couple" at Los Angeles Opera. They headlined L'elisir at Michigan Opera in March 2009.