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Anthony Roth Costanzo Named General Director of Opera Philadelphia

By Alkis Karmpaliotis

 

On April 25, Anthony Roth Costanzo, one of the world's biggest opera stars, was named the next general director and president of Opera Philadelphia. He said he would continue to perform regularly around the globe throughout his tenure.


At Opera Philadelphia, Costanzo will manage everything from community initiatives to artistic direction, overseeing all collaboration with musicians and the curation of the season. His tenure will begin in a very challenging time for the opera house, with COVID-19 having set it back decades in fundraising and endowment. While most theaters in this position would resort to finance experts and experienced administrators to solve the problem, Opera Philadelphia has — wisely, in my opinion — gone in the direction of artistic innovation, choosing a musician to direct its operations. Costanzo noted that he intends to program more small-scale pieces and modern music, similar to the Metropolitan Opera, while maintaining a balance with traditional canon works. If all goes according to plan, his efforts will bring new audiences to the opera and encourage them to return regularly.

"I approach everything I do with creativity because I began as and still am an artist," he said. Hopefully, Costanzo's tenure will kickstart a new era in the classical music industry, where artists, rather than business executives, are brought to the forefront of artistic administration.


I first met Costanzo in 2020 when he became my second interviewee for AppreciateOpera.org, a brand-new website at the time. Although I was only 12 years old, he graciously accepted my request, and we had a wonderful conversation about his career and our mutual passion for music. In that interview, he said, "I'm always trying, for every second of every minute that I'm on stage, to move at least one person in the audience. If that's your goal, you move toward better performance." With this mindset of captivating audiences and relentless determination to convey the rich power of music, Costanzo is the perfect man for an opera house much in need of revitalization.


Two years later, Costanzo's groundbreaking recording of Akhnaten with the Metropolitan Opera won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Costanzo is currently back at the Met, starring as Orfeo in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, an ingenious adaptation of the ancient tale.

Costanzo in "Akhnaten"
Costanzo in "Akhnaten" at the Metropolitan Opera

My interview with Costanzo inspired me to keep Appreciate Opera going, and I will never forget his kindness, respect, and unparalleled passion. As a young opera fan and arts journalist, I could not be happier for Anthony and the future of opera!

 

I'm Alkis Karmpaliotis, and I'm a Junior at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School in New York. I hope you enjoyed this article! You can support my work by becoming a member and reading some of my other articles!

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