Release Date: 5 May 2014
Label: Warner Classics
Total Length: 1:05:37
Dubbed “America’s fastest-rising husband-and-wife opera stars” (Associated Press) and praised for their “palpable chemistry” (New York Times), Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello are have risen to become opera’s new star couple. They both have been honored as winners of the prestigious Richard Tucker Award (Pérez 2012, Costello 2009) and now team up for their debut album on Warner Classics – a selection of love duets from opera and musical theater. The music moves from the Romantic operas of Puccini (“Oh Soave Fanciulla” from La Bohème), Massenet (“N’est-ce plus ma main”) and Verdi (Traviata’s “Un dì felice,” words which the couple have engraved on their wedding rings) to the tender lyricism of Broadway hits such as Bernstein’s West Side Story (“One hand, one heart”), Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel (“If I loved you”), and more. Love Duets offers the perfect introduction to one of the music-world’s most exciting new couples.
Pérez explains: “Given our great love for our art and each other, I’m really looking forward to joining our voices in some of my favourite roles and operatic duets.”
Costello adds: “To be on a label for which so many incredible artists have recorded is a huge honour. I am also honoured to share this album with two great artists – my wife, Ailyn Pérez, and Maestro Patrick Summers. I am truly humbled!”
Described by Vanity Fair as “a match made in verismo heaven,” theirs is a love story that is the stuff of opera itself. The young American soprano and tenor met at Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts, where an onstage romance in Puccini’s most beloved opera kindled the flames of a real-life passion. This season, Pérez and Costello appear in performance together across the globe, headlining in La traviata in London, Berlin, Hamburg, and San Francisco, and giving concerts in New York, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
They are the only married couple to boast having two prestigious Richard Tucker Awards on the mantelpiece: Costello took home the “Heisman Trophy of opera” in 2009 and Pérez won in 2012, becoming the first Hispanic singer to do so in the award’s history. When they performed together at the 2012 Richard Tucker Gala, which was broadcast nationally in the U.S. and is still available for on-demand streaming, the New York Times’s Anthony Tommasini admired their “palpable chemistry.”
Pérez and Costello possess full-bodied voices and enjoy letting them bloom with Italianate leisure.