Stephen Costello Returns to Vienna State Opera for Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore

Following a highly successful run of performances in the Metropolitan Opera’s season-opening production of Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, Stephen Costello returns to the Vienna State Opera for a second consecutive season, singing the role of Nemorino in another (and far more light-hearted) Donizetti opera, L'elisir d'amore. The four performances take place November 8–18. Costello made his company debut last season with the Vienna State Opera when, in the opening weekend, he substituted for an ailing Rolando Villazón as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La bohème. This fall, Costello will also give concert performances as Leicester in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda with the Munich Opera Orchestra (Dec 2 & 5), before heading to London for his company role debut as Alfredo in Verdi’s La traviata at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (Jan 2–20).

As he prepares for another production in Vienna, Costello looks forward to returning to a role that he is especially fond of doing: “Nemorino is the first role I ever sang, and it’s incredibly enjoyable to do. It gives you not only the chance to show off your comic acting, but also serious moments to open up your soul and let it pour out to the audience.”

Costello made his Glyndebourne Festival debut this past June with the role of Nemorino. Reviewing the opening-night performance, London’s Guardian described Costello’s “pliant tenor” as possessing “velvety depths,” while The Times praised his “rich, easy timbre” and concluded, “The best voice on stage belongs to Stephen Costello.” His Nemorino at Michigan Opera Theatre in March 2009 drew high praise, including Opera News’s assertion that the tenor is “a first-class talent…clearly destined for a major career.” Reviewing the same production, the Detroit News singled out Costello’s “endearing, effortlessly comedic appearance,” observing, “It's hard to know which to admire more, Costello’s smart, heart-tugging comic turn, something between Charlie Chaplin and a young Steve Martin, or his superb singing – and not just in Nemorino’s hugely famous lament ‘Una furtiva lagrima.’”

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