Stories » Anthony Roth Costanzo is musical america: vocalist of the year

Top 10 for Nov

Anthony Roth Costanzo is musical america: vocalist of the year

Bookmark and Share

To understand what makes the countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo remarkable, one could start by looking at the cover art of his debut recording, ARC, which alternates arias by Handel and Philip Glass. This is no ordinary artist photo or anodyne image: Rather, in a startling, Cubist-looking painting by George Condo, Costanzo's chiseled, three-quarter profile gazes intently into the distance, its one limpid eye, distinctive nose, and sensual mouth enfolded in a design of multicolored, geometric shapes. (Condo, a major American artist, previously ventured into album cover art for Kanye West's My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.) For another example of Costanzo's boundary-pushing, consider the offbeat "Opera Party" at New York radio-station WQXR's Greene Space in 2017, for which he served as curator and host, and gave a wrenching performance of Charlotte's "Letters" aria from Massenet's Werther, accompanied by live critical commentary from Opera News editor F. Paul

READ THE FULL musical america ARTICLE

Heidi Waleson is opera critic of the Wall Street Journal and the author of Mad Scenes and Exit Arias: The Death of the New York City Opera and the Future Of Opera in America (Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2018).