A remarkable young American countertenor who has been described as “vocally brilliant and dramatically fearless” by The New York Times, Anthony Roth Costanzo has been making waves in the vocal world as much for his visionary approach to programming as his flawless technique in the core Baroque operatic repertoire. Costanzo’s recent album Glass/Handel creates dynamic conversations between composers radically separated by time and style: George Frideric Handel and Philip Glass. Costanzo’s debut at the Phillips is no different, with music by Henry Purcell in dialogue with Benjamin Britten, new music by the inventive Gregory Spears, and selections from Glass/Handel. Costanzo is joined by pianist and longtime collaborator Bryan Wagorn.
HENRY PURCELL (1659-95) / BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-76)
“One Charming Night” from The Fairy Queen (PURCELL)
“Malo” excerpt from The Turn of the Screw (BRITTEN)
“Seek not to know” from The Indian Queen (PURCELL)
“Cradle Song for Eleanor” from The Red Cockatoo (BRITTEN)
“Tis Nature’s Voice” from Hail Bright Cecilia (PURCELL)
Corpus Christi Carol (BRITTEN)
Sweeter than Roses (PURCELL)
GREGORY SPEARS (b. 1977)
“Fearsome This Night” from Wolf in Skins
FRANCIS POULENC (1899-1963)
Voyage à Paris
C’est ainsi que tu es
Les chemins de l’amour
GEORGE FRIDRICH HANDEL (1685-1759)
“Stille Amare” from Tolomeo
“Rompo I Lacci” from Flavio
“Pena tiranna” from Amadigi di Gaula
“Vivi Tiranno” from Rodelinda
PHILLIP GLASS (b. 1937)
“In the Arc of you Mallet” from Monsters of Grace
“Encounter” from 1000 Airplanes on the Roof
Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway.
Recently named 2019 Musical America Vocalist of the Year, this season Costanzo produces and stars in Glass/Handel, an operatic art installation, at Opera Philadelphia’s O18 Festival and subsequently co-presented by National Sawdust and St. John the Divine in New York. He returns to the English National Opera in his acclaimed performance of the title role in Akhnaten. He also appears in concert with Les Violons du Roy in eight cities, the New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Baroque at Lincoln Center, Boston Baroque, Mercury, and the NDR at the Elphiharmonie, and will be presented in recital by Celebrity Series of Boston.
Costanzo is an exclusive recording artist with Decca Gold, and his first album, ARC: Glass/Handel—a collection of arias by Handel and Phillip Glass with Les Violons du Roy—was released in September 2018.
Costanzo has appeared with many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Dallas Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Spoleto Festival USA, Glimmerglass Festvial, and Finnish National Opera.
In concert he has sung with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and National Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has also been presented in recital in Vancouver, Princeton University Concerts, Duke Performances, and at the Morgan Library in New York. He has performed at a wide-ranging variety of venues including Carnegie Hall, Versailles, The Kennedy Center, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Sawdust, Minamiza Kyoto, Joe’s Pub, The Guggenheim, The Park Avenue Armory, and Madison Square Garden.
A champion of new work, Costanzo recently created roles in the world premieres of Jimmy Lopez’s Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Jake Heggie’s Great Scott at the Dallas Opera. He has also premiered works written for him by Matthew Aucoin, Paola Prestini, Gregory Spears, Suzanne Farrin, Bernard Rands, Scott Wheeler, Mohammed Fairouz, Steve Mackey, and Nico Muhly.
Costanzo has begun working as a producer and curator in addition to a performer, creating shows for National Sawdust, Opera Philadelphia, the Philharmonia Baroque, Princeton University, WQXR, The State Theater in Salzburg, Master Voices, and Kabuki-Za Tokyo. He played Francis in the Merchant Ivory film, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and Simon in Brice Cauvin's De particulier a particulier. He is the first countertenor to host a Met Opera Live in HD Broadcast.
In 2012, Costanzo won first place in Placido Domingo’s international competition Operalia. He is also a 2009 Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He won a George London Award, received a career grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and became the first countertenor to win First Place in the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCullom competition, where he also won the audience choice prize. He received a Sullivan Foundation Award, and won First Place in the Opera Index Competition, the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, and the Jensen Foundation Competition.
Costanzo graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University where he was awarded the Lewis Sudler Prize for extraordinary achievement in the arts and where he has returned to teach. He received his Masters of Music at Manhattan School of Music and won the Hugh Ross Award for a singer of unusual promise. In his youth, he performed on Broadway and in Broadway National Tours including A Christmas Carol, The Sound of Music, and Falsettos. He began his operatic endeavors playing Miles in The Turn of the Screw.
Canadian pianist and vocal coach Bryan Wagorn serves as Assistant Conductor at The Metropolitan Opera, and regularly performs throughout North America, Europe, and Asia as pianist, chamber musician, and recital accompanist to the world’s leading singers and instrumentalists.
In the 2013/14 season, Wagorn made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Assistant Conductor in their new production of Falstaff. He has performed with James Levine and the Met Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall as solo pianist and chamber musician, and in recital for the George London Foundation, the Marilyn Horne Foundation, and Richard Tucker Foundation, and also serves on the music staff of the Glyndebourne Festival. At the Metropolitan Opera he has worked on productions with singers including Anthony Roth Costanzo, Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, Renee Fleming, Feruccio Furlanetto, Nadine Sierra, and most of the world’s leading operatic singers.
A participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, Wagorn has also been engaged as Staff Coach at the Ravinia Steans Music Institute, and has served on faculty of the National Arts Centre Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute directed by Pinchas Zukerman. He made his solo recital debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2009, and has since made over a dozen Carnegie Hall appearances. He has performed two extensive tours with Jeunesses Musicales de Canada, and performed chamber music with members of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic. He recorded with Elmira Darvarova and Philip Myers an album of Brahms and Amanda Maier for the Urlicht label.
Wagorn holds degrees in piano performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Canada, and the University of Ottawa (Bachelor of Music), the Mannes College of Music (Masters of Music), and the Manhattan School of Music (Doctorate of Musical Arts). He is a former graduate of The Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.