September 15, 2015
Stephen Costello has been there many times, with many women: face-to-face with angry, powerful, vengeful husbands threatening to eliminate him for allegedly canoodling with their wives. Only, it happens that these aren’t just any women. They are queens. In this case, they are just one queen—the second Mrs Henry VIII—portrayed by many a lyric soprano on the world’s prestigious opera stages. Starting Saturday, Sept. 26, this steadily rising tenor will portray Lord Riccardo Percy in Gaetano Donizetti’s bel canto masterpiece “Anna Bolena” at the Metropolitan Opera’s matinee prima. The performing arts had better brace themselves.
In an exclusive interview with Examiner.com, Philadelphia-born Stephen Costello admitted he turns 34 this month. Already he has enjoyed opening-night honors twice at the Met—once, in 2011, when the Company’s premiere production of “Anna Bolena” first saw that revered stage’s footlights. He has appeared in major roles also at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Madrid’s Teatro Real and Vienna State Opera, among others. The tenor shared his insights on Donizetti’s music, particularly his present role; Giuseppe Verdi’s style, an outgrowth of bel canto; and hardships he has faced.