Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo signs to Decca Gold New album of Handel and Philip Glass slated for Fall 2018

07.13.17
Anthony Roth Costanzo

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo has signed to Universal Music Group’s US-based classical label, Decca Gold. The first album of this new partnership will include arias by Handel and a diverse selection of works by Philip Glass. It is slated for release in the fall of 2018. 

Anthony Roth Costanzo has been performing professionally since the age of 11 and has had a wide-ranging career appearing in opera, concert, recital, on Broadway, and in film. As his star continues to rise, he has established himself at the forefront of expanding the boundaries of classical music. His reputation for creativity, interdisciplinary collaboration, and bold repertoire choices have made him a unique force in the evolving musical landscape. 

Graham Parker, President of Decca Gold, says of this new partnership, “Decca Gold is the new home for leading American classical artists of our time, and Anthony absolutely falls into that category. I have followed his career for a long time, and he is a courageous, bold-thinking artist, always looking to burst through preconceptions of what being a countertenor means today. I am so happy to welcome Anthony to Decca Gold.”

Anthony Roth Costanzo says of the project, “For me, singing is about emotion, and both Handel and Glass generate a kind of cathartic drama, but often in completely different ways. With my voice and this wonderful orchestra bridging the gap between the two, I can’t wait to explore how these operatic emotions can impact a wide spectrum of listeners. It’s thrilling to create a project as daring as this with the collaboration and support of a major label like Decca Gold.”

The new album, which he records this summer with Les Violons du Roy, conducted by Jonathan Cohen, will be split half and half between works by Handel, including “Pena Tiranna” from Amadigi di Gaula and “Stille Amare” from Tolomeo, and selections from Philip Glass’s oeuvre, including the “Hymn” from Akhnaten. Frequent Philip Glass collaborator Michael Riesman has created brand new arrangements of other Glass’s works specifically for this record, and one of these selections will be a world premiere recording. 

Costanzo has received wide acclaim for his performance in the title role of Akhnaten with the English National Opera and Los Angeles Opera, and he will bring his portrayal to The Metropolitan Opera in 2019. The New Yorker said of this performance, “Costanzo embodied an otherworldly ruler poised between idealism and madness, his voice a prism of brilliant colors.” 

The pairing of Philip Glass and Handel represents Costanzo’s iconoclastic approach to the countertenor repertoire, integrating baroque and contemporary works. His and Les Violons du Roy’s dexterity with both genres serves to underscore the similarities between contemporary minimalism and baroque music. Their collaboration presents an imaginative pairing of these genres and an innovative approach for a major-label recording. 
Among his engagements in the upcoming season, Costanzo sings the title role in Giulio Cesare with Houston Grand Opera, stars in staged performances of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, returns to Opera Philadelphia for Written on Skin, sings the title role in Orfeo ed Euridice at Florida Grand Opera, and appears in concert with Les Violons du Roy at the Festival d’Opéra de Québec. Costanzo is currently performing at National Sawdust from July 12 through July 20, and was just recently featured in The New York Times.