Stephen Costello and Ailyn Perez Launch 2014-15 with U.S. LOVE DUETS Recital Tour
On a U.S. duo recital tour this September, Stephen Costello and Ailyn Pérez -- the husband-and-wife team dubbed "Pérello" by the BBC and "the Jay-Z and Beyoncé" of opera by Vanity Fair -- sing romantic favorites from their hit album release, Love Duets.
The tour takes the Richard Tucker Award-winners, together with pianist Danielle Orlando, to the San Diego Opera, for a concert to benefit the recently-revived company (Sep 5); the Washington National Opera (Sep 10); the Dallas Opera (Sep 14); and Opera Philadelphia, where they launch the company's 40th Anniversary Season with a special gala performance in the city where they first fell in love (Sep 12).
Costello and Pérez have connections with all four stops on the tour. The pair's first concert is a special benefit event for San Diego Opera, helping to support the company that was among the first in the U.S. to spot their talent and support their careers in the early stages. Likewise, they were often seen on the stage of Opera Philadelphia in the first years after their graduation from that city's Academy of Vocal Arts, which is where both singers studied and where they first met. They have performed several times at Dallas Opera in the past, most notably for Costello in the world premiere of Jake Heggie's Moby-Dick, while Pérez will be featured in the company's upcoming world premiere of Heggie's Great Scott. Washington National Opera is the relative newcomer on the list, both Costello and Pérez having made debuts there only last season. Costello first reprised his interpretation of Greenhorn in Moby-Dick at WNO in February, and he was then joined on stage by Pérez -- called in on just two weeks' notice to replace an ailing colleague -- for a successful run of Donizetti's L'Elisir d'amore the following month.
The tour program is drawn from Love Duets, a collection of sensual selections from L'elisir d'amore, La traviata, Rigoletto, Faust, Manon, La bohème, L'amico Fritz, and the Broadway shows Carousel, Guys and Dolls, Kismet, and West Side Story, all recorded with Patrick Summers and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for Warner Classics. The album spent two weeks at number four on the U.S. Traditional Classical Chart, debuted at number three on the UK Classical Chart, and received sensational reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Gramophone called the disc "irresistible." Opera News pronounced it "sublime," declaring: "Their chemistry is palpable and thrilling." In the New York Times, Anthony Tommasini found that "Ms. Pérez's warm, penetrating voice matches well but also contrasts interestingly with Mr. Costello's rich, virile sound." Vanity Fair agreed, noting: "What is so fortunate and truly rare about Pérez and Costello is that their voices and repertoires match up wonderfully. ... Their steamy chemistry is quite evident." Love Duets was named "Album of the Week" by London's Mail on Sunday, Classic FM, and the Sunday Times, which proclaimed it "a disc that should win these hugely likeable young stars a lot of new friends." As David Patrick Stearns put it in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Pérello's debut recording is, quite simply, "a knockout.