Ailyn Perez & Stephen Costello – Love Duets (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:05:38 minutes | 623 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Master, Official Digital Download – Source: Qobuz | Front Cover | © Warner Classics

Richard Tucker Award-winners Stephen Costello and Ailyn Pérez – dubbed “America’s fastest-rising husband-and-wife opera stars” (Associated Press) – look forward to releasing their first album together: a recording of romantic love duets by Verdi, Puccini, Bernstein, and others, recorded with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Patrick Summers’s leadership in London. The album is the couple’s first release as exclusive recording artists for Warner Classics.

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!”

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.

The U.S. duo of soprano Ailyn Pérez and tenor Stephen Costello has garnered considerable publicity in its home country, and now with this new collaboration with the venerable BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, they seem poised to gain a round of admirers across the Atlantic as well. Opera cognoscenti may conclude that their success is due in large part to having the field to themselves right now: opera companies and symphonic programmers, like those in the folk field who roll over and put their hands in the air for the Swell Season and the Civil Wars, can’t resist the spectacle of a husband-and-wife team who seem to be experiencing the emotions they sing about. Pérez’s voice for many will have a rather plummy quality, while Costello’s tenor at times plows ahead with little regard to pitch. But the duo is canny in picking their music, and it’s easy to see the appeal in spite of such objections. The album is dedicated to the memory of Richard Tucker, and the duo exploits the musical mix characteristic of that great American crowd-pleaser, combining verismo and semipopular material with musicals standing in for Tucker’s beloved operetta. The whole thing seems to work, in spite of individual moments that don’t stand up to scrutiny, and the BBC Philharmonic under Patrick Summers takes this kind of basic emotional appeal on its own terms. It’s worth watching Pérez and Costello to see where they go next. –AllMusic Review by James Manheim

Jules Massenet (1842-1912)
1. Manon: Toi! Vous! … N’est-ce plus ma main 08:07
Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945)
2. L’amico Fritz: Suzel, buon dì (Cherry Duet) 08:48
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
3. Rigoletto: Signor ne prinicipe 07:17
Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848)
4. L’elisir d’amore: Esulti pur la Barbara 08:51
Charles Gounod (1818-1893)
5. Faust: Il se fait tard 09:58
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
6. La traviata: Un dì felice 03:23
Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924)
7. La boh?me: O soave fanciulla 04:14
Leonard Bernstein (1918–1990)
8. West Side Story: One Hand, One Heart 04:21
Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein ll
9. Carousel: If I Loved You 03:06
Frank Loesser (1910-1969)
10. Guys and Dolls: I’ll Know 03:39
Alexander Borodin, George Forrest, Robert Wright
11. Kismet: And This Is My Beloved 03:60

Ailyn Pérez, soprano
Stephen Costello, tenor
BBC Symphony Orchestra
Patrick Summers, conductor


AilynPerezStephenC0stell0L0veDuets2014Q0buz2444.1.rar – 642.1 MB