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1/26/2016, 19:30

Questa o quella? – Maria Agresta, Angel Joy Blue, Stephen Costello

PKF – Prague Philharmonia
Francesco Ciampa
– dirigent

Change in cast!
The American Tenor Stephen Costello got stuck in New York due to the blizzard on the east coast of the United States. He deeply regrets the situation as he will not be able to come to Prague and he sends his apologies to the audience. At the Questa o Quella concert, he will be replaced by Czech tenor Petr Nekoranec, member of the Bavarian State Opera in Munich and its opera studio. Petr departed Munich on Sunday night be in Prague on time for the concert rehearsals.

After winning several international competitions, Italian soprano Maria Agresta made her operatic debut in 2007. Her success came after a few years, in 2011, when she performed Elena in I vespri siciliani at Teatro Regio in Turin conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, with great reviews from public and critics.

Since then, she has been invited to sing on the most important stages worldwide. Highlights include the title role in Norma in Tel Aviv, Mimì (La bohème) at Arena di Verona, in Munich, at Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, at Teatro Regio in  Turin,  Festival  Puccini  in  Torre  del  Lago, in Venice, Tel Aviv and at Opéra Bastille, Gemma (Gemma di Vergy) at Teatro Donizetti in Bergamo, Elvira (Don Giovanni) at La Scala, Leonora (Il trovatore) in Valencia conduted by Zubin Mehta and at La Scala, Micaëla (Carmen) in Masada, Violetta Valéry (La traviata) at Berlin Staatsoper, at Arena di Verona and in Guangzhou, Amelia (Simon Boccanegra) in Rome with Riccardo Muti and in Dresden conducted by Christian Thielemann, Amalia (I masnadieri) in Venice, Leonora (Oberto, Conte di San Bonifacio) at La Scala, Desdemona (Otello) in Valencia with Zubin Mehta, in Zurich and Genoa, Julia (La Vestale) in Dresden or Elvira (I puritani) at Opéra Bastille in Paris. In 2014, she made her Royal Opera House debut as Lucrezia Contarini (I due Foscari), conducted by Antonio Pappano, in the first half of 2015, she sang Norma in Zurich conducted by Fabio Luisi, Liù (Turandot) at La Scala conducted by Riccardo Chailly and her future plans include Mimì at Wiener Staatsoper, Mimì and Micaëla at the Metropolitan Opera New York, Violetta Valéry in Munich and at Dallas Opera or Liù in Chicago. In 2014, Maria won the Italian critics’ prize “Franco Abbiati” as the Best soprano.


Recognised for her beautiful timbre, American soprano Angel Blue's voice has been hailed for its shining, agile upper register and "smoky" middle register. A nominee in the 2015 Opera Awards, Angel is quickly establishing herself as one of the best singers in her generation, having performed in over 30 countries in the last 5 years. 

Highlights of Angel's 2014-15 season include a role debut as Tosca with Opera San Jose, as well as engagements with the Leipzig Gewandausorchester, the English National Opera, the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, performances throughout the season with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and a performance at the 2015 AIDS Gala in Berlin with the Deutsche Oper and Donald Runnicles. In addition to these Angel will also make numerous appearances as the special guest of Placido Domingo, and will perform with Alfie Boe for a Last Night of the Proms concert to coincide with Armed Forces Day.

Successes of previous seasons have included performances as Musetta in La Boheme with the English National Opera, American Lulu (Lulu) at the Bregenz and Edinburgh Festivals and the Young Vic, London with the Opera Group and Scottish Opera, the Rape of Lucretia and Tales of Hoffman at the Theatre an der Wien, a recital with the Rosenblatt Recital Series at Wigmore Hall, performing with the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle and the Verdi Requiem with the Cincinnati Symphony under the baton of the late Raphael Frübeck de Burgos.

Ms Blue was a finalist in Operalia 2009, receiving 1st place in the Zarzuela competition, and 2nd place in the Opera competition. Angel received a Masters of Music degree in Opera Performance from UCLA, a Bachelors of Music from the University of Redlands, and is alumni to the prestigious Los Angeles County High school for the Arts. She is also a graduate of the Palau de les Arts Young Artist Program in Valencia, Spain and the Canadian Vocal Arts Institute, University of Montreal in Montreal, Canada.  

Angel Blue is a former beauty queen. She has held titles such as Miss Hollywood 2005, Miss Southern California 2006, and 1st runner up to Miss California 2006. Angel Blue is a native of California, but makes her home in London, United Kingdom. 


As the Associated Press observes, Stephen Costello is “a prodigiously gifted singer whose voice makes an immediate impact.” The tenor quickly established a reputation as a “first-class talent” (Opera News) after coming to national attention in 2007, when, aged 26, he made his Metropolitan Opera debut on the company’s season-opening night, only two years after his professional debut. Two years later Costello won the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, and he has since appeared at many of the world’s most important opera houses and music festivals, including London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; the Deutsche Oper Berlin; the Vienna State Opera; and the Salzburg Festival. The 2014-15 season sees Costello return to San Francisco Opera to create the male lead world premiere production of Two Women, a new opera by Marco Tutino. The tenor reprises his starring role in La traviata opposite Marina Rebeka’s Violetta at the Vienna State Opera and at the Met, where he also looks forward to joining Susan Graham on Lehar’s The Merry Widow under Fabio Luisi’s leadership. Other operatic highlights include his return to Houston Grand Opera to make his professional role debut as Ferrando in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, and his portrayal of the title role in Roméo et Juliette at Austin Lyric Opera.

In the previous seasons, he made the greatest impact for his portrayals of the Greenhorn at Moby-Dick (Heggie) at the Washington National Opera, the Duke in Rigoletto (Verdi) at the Houston Grand Opera, Roberto Devereux (Donizetti) in Carnegie Hall, Falstaff (Verdi) at the Festival Saito Kinen in Japan, or as Percy in Anna Bolena and Nemorino in L’elissir d’amore (both Donizetti) at the Vienna State Opera. In Dallas, he made all title tenor roles of Donizetti’s Tudor operas and later he appeared as Lord Percy alongside Anna Netrebko in Met in HD broadcast all over the world.

Stephen Costello was born in 1981 in Philadelphia and he graduated from the University of the Arts and Academy of Vocal Arts, where he also met his wife. They live in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


Artist's videos

Maria Agresta:
La Bohéme, 1st Act - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ThSFiCmv7k
La traviata, 1st Act - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFiq5VYc0u8
Il Trovatore - Tacea la notte placida - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQfMzYlgOWQ

Angel Joy Blue:
S Placidem Domingem - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SucYvneQkE
La traviata, 1st Act - http://www.angeljoyblue.com/visuals.html
Angal jinak :))) http://www.angeljoyblue.com/visuals.html

Stephen Costello:
Brindisi ( La traviata, 1st Act) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozi3wUxkZmA
West Side Story - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCvzS-L-nKE


Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924)
Che gelida manina – Mi chiamano Mimì – O soave fanciulla (Rodolfo, Mimì)
Stephen Costello, Angel Joy Blue

Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901)
Libiamo, libiamo ne lieti calici (Brindisi)
Maria Agresta, Angel Joy Blue, Stephen Costello

Un dì, felice, eterea (Alfredo, Violetta)
Stephen Costello, Angel Joy Blue

È strano… Ah, fors'è lui… Sempre libera (Violetta)
Maria Agresta

Lunge da lei... De miei bollenti spiriti (Alfredo)
Stephen Costello

Ouverture to the ACT III

Parigi, o caro, noi lasceremo (Alfredo, Violetta)
Stephen Costello, Maria Agresta


Giuseppe Verdi
Questa o quella (The Duke of Mantua)
Stephen Costello

Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835)
Casta diva (Norma)
Maria Agresta

Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904)
Song to the Moon (Rusalka)
Angel Joy Blue

Jacques Offenbach (1819–1880)
Intermezzo & Barcarolle – Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour (Giulietta, Nicklausse)
Maria Agresta, Angel Joy Blue

Giuseppe Verdi
La donna è mobile (The Duke of Mantua)
Stephen Costello


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