October 21, 2015
The cast in this year’s production adds to Mayer’s concept, especially tenor Stephen Costello as the Duke. Costello is a fine Verdian tenor, with an ideal range and a rounded, colorful sound. Costello also used touches of rubato to give his phrases the conversational quality, essential to Verdi singing. Other tenors may surpass him in terms of sheer beauty, but Costello sang the character, who must be attractive and repellent at the same time, beautifully.
In his white dinner jacket, lounging around with a louche, narcissistic confidence, he was the personification of Johnny Fontane from The Godfather, the production sparking a cache of cultural memory and meaning.
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