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A TE, O CARA: Stephen Costello sings Bel Canto / Orbelian, Kaunas City Symphony


Release Date: 11/16/2018 
Label:  Delos   Catalog #: 3541  
Composer:  Gaetano DonizettiVincenzo BelliniGiuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Stephen Costello
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

American tenor Stephen Costello’s meteoric career has taken him to the stages of the world’s top opera houses. In this, his first recording for Delos, he performs a glittering assortment of arias that will appeal strongly to any opera lover, but that will be a particular treat for fans of the bel canto repertoire. While it mainly showcases classic arias by Gaetano Donizetti, we also hear single selections by Vicenzo Bellini and Giuseppe Verdi. Polished and sensitive orchestral collaboration comes courtesy of Maestro Constantine Orbelian and his vaunted Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra. The Associated Press has called Stephen Costello “… a prodigiously gifted singer whose voice makes an immediate impact.”

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Read more REVIEW:

Stephen Costello provides a consistent quality of performance across the collection well chosen to display his stylish and engaging voice to significant effect. The opening track, one of the most celebrated arias in all opera, is Tonio’s act two cavatina and cabaletta ‘Ah, mes amis’ from Donizetti’s opéra comique, La fille du régiment. Costello agilely and astutely manages the manifold challenges of this aria that requires no less than nine high C’s, which is a treat when performed as admirably as this. From Donizetti’s masterwork L’élisir d’amore described as a melodramma giocoso, Nemorino’s act two romanza, Una furtiva lagrima is one of the most attractive of all tenor arias. As Nemorino singing passionately to Adina believing a love potion is working Costello performs beautifully, with clarity and particularly fine phrasing, making every word count. Another Donizetti work, a further highlight and a particular favourite of mine, is Spirto gentil from La favorita a grand opera that deserves increased recognition. Here Fernando in the final act discovers that Leonora has been the king’s mistress and sings brokenheartedly at the betrayal of his love. This is a splendid display of Costello’s most attractive tone and the tenor achieves his high notes resolutely and with relative ease. Throughout Costello receives first class support from Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra under Constantine Orbelian which feels entirely sympathetic.

Recorded at Kaunas Philharmonic the engineering team excel providing sound that has both satisfying clarity and balance. As I have come to expect from Delos the documentation accompanying the album is first class. The valuable booklet notes by Lindsay Koob places each aria in the context of the opera. I’m delighted that full sung texts are included together with English translations which are helpfully placed alongside. My only grumble concerns the playing time of just under fifty minutes, very short by today’s standards.

Beautifully performed, recorded and presented, Stephen Costello’s bel canto album will complement any opera collection.

– MusicWeb International Read less

Works on This Recording

1.
La fille du régiment: Ah, mes amis...Pour mon âme by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Italy 
2.
La fille du régiment: Pour me rapprocher de Marie by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1840; Italy 
3.
I puritani: A te, o cara, amor talora by Vincenzo Bellini
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 
4.
Dom Sébastien: Deserto in terra by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; France 
5.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Quanto č bella! Quanto č cara! by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
6.
L'Elisir d'Amore: Una furtiva lagrima by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1832; Italy 
7.
Don Pasquale: Sogno soave e casto by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1843; Italy 
8.
La Favorita: Spirto gentil by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Written: 1843 
9.
Anna Bolena: Vivi tu...Nel veder del tua costanza by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1830; Italy 
10.
Rigoletto: Parmi veder le lacrime by Giuseppe Verdi
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1851; Italy 
11.
Lucia di Lammermoor: Fra poco a me ricovero by Gaetano Donizetti
Performer:  Stephen Costello (Tenor)
Conductor:  Constantine Orbelian
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Kaunas City Symphony Orchestra
Period: Romantic 
Written: 1835; Italy 

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