Sunday, May 1, 2011

Married Opera Singers Make Debut Together in California

Couple on and off stage: Costello and Perez (Photo: Cory Weaver)
Opera Fresh earlier announced Stephen Costello would be making his role debut as Faust with the San Diego Opera. The production, which was also written about for some cast changes, includes Mr. Costello's wife Ailyn Perez as Marguerite: "Usually when singers debut in a role, they sing tentatively, reserving their energy and vocal power so they know they can get through the evening with their voices intact. But Costello and Perez showed no signs of tiring or holding back in their roles. Costello's got a lovely, ringing tenor with a pleasing top, clarity, evenness of tone and warm romantic sound, particularly in Faust's famous love aria 'Salut! demeure chaste et pure' and he throws himself physically into the role ---- with a surprisingly rousing sword fight in the third act and a finale that involves a brave tumble down a steep staircase. Perez's debut as Marguerite is also a success, though it's likely she'll grow into the role more as time goes on. She has a lush, ear-pleasing, creamy voice that fits the role well, but she's cautious with the role's more florid passages. Marguerite's "Jewel Song" ('Je ris de me voir') ---- where she's seduced by the chest of rubies left for her by Faust ---- is often a dazzling showpiece for coloratura vocal theatrics, but Perez keeps the embellishments to a minimum. As she grows more confident in the part, that should expand. She's got obvious chemistry with her on- and offstage partner, Costello, and she doesn't lack for vocal heft, finishing strong with the powerful 'Anges purs, anges radieux,' where she pleads for the angels to rescue her in the beautifully staged finale." [Source]

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