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The Dallas Observer | How Dallas Fell In Love With Opera Star Stephen Costello

When Costello performed a preview of the show at the Amon Carter Museum, the Fort Worth Weekly reported that hearts were fluttering.

Lauren Smart, 1stMar 2016


February 29, 2016

Before Stephen Costello finished graduate school, he was charming North Texas audiences. Enrolled in Academy of Vocal Arts in his hometown of Philadelphia, the operatic tenor was tapped to fill in for a night as Rodolfo in a Fort Worth opera production of La bohème.

“I’d worked with director David Gateley, who now runs the opera [studio] program at TCU. He had directed a production of it at AVA, and he was directing it for Fort Worth and he suggested me for the role,” says Costello. When Costello performed a preview of the show at the Amon Carter Museum, the Fort Worth Weekly reported that hearts were fluttering.

That was exactly 10 years ago, March 2006. The night was kismet. That one performance happened to be the night Jonathan Pell, then artistic director of the Dallas Opera, attended. Afterward, Pell hired him to sing Merry Widow in Dallas the following year, but he would debut just a few weeks later when a tenor dropped out of Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda. Costello learned the part in just seven days.

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