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Ailyn Pérez is a graduate of The Academy of Vocal Arts and Indiana University. For AVA she has portrayed the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Suzel in L’amico Fritz, Mimì in La bohème, Anna in Le villi and Gilda in Rigoletto.
Tenor Stephen Costello received his Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2007 and has performed such roles as the Duke in Rigoletto, Rodolfo in La bohème, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Fritz in L’amico Fritz, Roberto in Le villi and Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon.
Ailyn has won awards for both her operatic singing and recital performances. She was a recipient of Indiana University’s prize for Interpretation of Songs from Spain and Latin America, was a finalist in the 2004 Hans-Gabor Belvedere Competition in Vienna and was awarded second place by the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation in 2004. In 2005 she won Second Prize at the Loren L. Zachary Competition, and received an encouragement award from Opera Index, in addition to being placed second at the Metropolitan Opera Council Mid-Atlantic Regional Finals. She also won Second Prize in the 2006 Operalia Competition in Valencia, Spain, and the George London Award in the 2006 George London Foundation Competition. In 2007 she was the Winner of the Shoshana Foundation Career Grant.
Ailyn made her professional debut at Palm Beach Opera, where she sang Zerlina in Don Giovanni, and Soeur Constance in Les dialogues des Carmelites. Other engagements included Gilda in Rigoletto with Opera Delaware and Papagena in Die Zauberflöte at Palm Beach Opera. She subsequently portrayed Anne Truelove in the critically acclaimed production of The Rake’s Progress with the Merola Opera Programme and sang a memorable recital in the Schwabacher Debut Recital Series which was hailed as a ‘tour de force’ by the San Francisco Chronicle. Ailyn was also heard in the role of Juliette in Roméo et Juliette and the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro with Wolf Trap Opera and the National Symphony Orchestra.
Most recently, she made her debut with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as Violetta in La Traviata and with Boston Lyric Opera as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She has also sung with Los Angeles Opera as Amor in the world premiere of Lee Holdridge’s Concierto para Mendez, with Opera Carolina as Gilda in Rigoletto, and sang in a 7-city tour of the United States and Mexico with tenor Andrea Bocelli.
She joins the roster of the Metropolitan Opera in the 2007-2008 season for Le nozze di Figaro and Hansel und Gretel. Her future engagements include the four heroines in The Tales of Hoffman with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and Adina in L’elisir d’amore with Michigan Opera Theatre, Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Marguerite in Faust with Opera Carolina, and two projects with the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Tenor Stephen Costello received his Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia in 2007 and now studies with internationally acclaimed voice teacher Bill Schuman.
At AVA, he performed such roles as the Duke in Rigoletto, Rodolfo in La bohème, Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, Ferrando in Così fan tutte, Fritz in L’amico Fritz, Roberto in Le villi and Des Grieux in Massenet’s Manon.
Subsequently Stephen won a 2006 Sara Tucker Study Grant and First Prize in the 2006 George London Foundation for Singers Competition, as well as First Prize and Audience Prize in the Giargiari Competition and First Prize in the Licia Albanese-Puccini Competition. He was also a recipient of the Opera Club Award at the Academy of Vocal Arts and a Finalist in the Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition. He was recently awarded a 2007 Career Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation.
Stephen made his professional stage debut as Rodolfo in La bohème with Fort Worth Opera in March 2007, which was followed in the summer by an auspicious London recital debut in the Rosenblatt Recital Series.
He then successfully debuted with Dallas Opera as Leicester in Maria Stuarda and made his Carnegie Hall debut as the Fisherman in Guillaume Tell with the Opera Orchestra of New York.
He made his European operatic debut in October 2006 at the opening of the Opéra National de Bordeaux’s 2006-2007 season as Nemorino in L’elisir d’amore, conducted by Paolo Olmi, and then appeared in concert with the Teatro Regio in Turin. Following this he reprised the role of the Duke in Rigoletto with Madison Opera.
Stephen’s debut on the Opening Night of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2007-2008 season announced the arrival of a major new tenor. His performance as Arturo in the new production of Lucia di Lammermoor under the direction of James Levine led to an invitation to sing the role of Edgardo in the same season.
Forthcoming engagements include Cassio in Otello at the Salzburg Festival under Riccardo Muti, the Duke in Rigoletto with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, a debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Camille in The Merry Widow with Dallas Opera, Nadir in Les Pêcheurs de Perles with the Teatro Municipal in Santiago, Roméo in Roméo et Juliette with Baltimore Opera, Alfredo in La Traviata with Florida Grand Opera, the title role in Roberto Devereux with Dallas Opera, the title role in Faust with Opera Carolina, Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor with Fort Worth Opera and Montreal Opera and Christian in David DiChiera’s new opera Cyrano with the Opera Company of Philadelphia.
Iain Burnside enjoys a unique reputation as pianist and broadcaster, forged through his commitment to the song repertoire and his collaborations with leading international singers.
In recent seasons such artists have included Galina Gorchakova, Ailish Tynan, Lisa Milne, Rebecca Evans, Joan Rodgers, Susan Gritton and Yvonne Kenny, Susan Bickley, Ann Murray and Sarah Connolly, John Mark Ainsley, Mark Padmore and Andrew Kennedy, Roderick Williams, Christopher Maltman and Bryn Terfel.
His recording work shows Iain’s passion for British music. For Signum he has recorded Tippett with John Mark Ainsley, Judith Weir with Ailish Tynan, Susan Bickley and Andrew Kennedy and F.G. Scott with Lisa Milne and Roderick Williams. Forthcoming Signum releases included Herbert Hughes with Ailish Tynan, Britten with Susan Gritton and Mark Padmore and Korngold with Sarah Connolly and Christopher Maltman.
Naxos CDs include the complete songs of Gerald Finzi with John Mark Ainsley and Roderick Williams, together with Vaughan Williams and William Alwyn. More Vaughan Williams will be released on the new Albion label. Black Box recordings feature Debussy, Schoenberg and an acclaimed disc of Copland with the late Susan Chilcott.
Iain’s broadcasting career covers both Radio and TV and he has been honoured with a Sony Radio Award. Following BBC Radio 3’s Voices, he now presents his own Sunday morning programme Iain Burnside. Television appearances include The Proms, Cardiff Singer of the World, Leeds International Piano Competition and BBC Young Musician of the Year.
His communicative skills and specialist knowledge ensure that Iain is much sought after for educational work. In addition to his position at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama he has given Masterclasses throughout Europe, at New York’s Juilliard School and the Banff Centre, Canada. This summer he will work at The Steans Institute, Ravinia.