by Mike Telin
When countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo was thinking about what to include on his debut recording for Decca Gold, he wanted more than just an anthology of arias from one composer. “As a countertenor my repertoire is split between the contemporary and the Baroque, so I started thinking about how to bridge that gap,” Costanzo said during a telephone conversation. “I have sung Handel all my life. My technique has been defined by that and my soul lies there. And when I sang the music of Philip Glass for the first time it changed me. It influenced my thinking about making art and about being a dramatic singer.”
On Tuesday, October 16 at 7:30 pm in Akron’s E.J. Thomas Hall, Tuesday Musical will present Anthony Roth Costanzo and the Montreal-based Baroque orchestra, Les Violons du Roy, under the direction of Jonathan Cohen. The program will feature works from that debut album: ARC Glass/Handel. Tickets are available online.
Costanzo said that the music of Handel and Glass have similar qualities when it comes to harmonic language and emotional impact, as well as repetition. “Handel has the da capo aria — A and B sections then the A section repeated. He’ll also take lines of text and he’ll chunk them up by repeating a couple of words in that line several times, then he’ll go onto the next set of words and he’ll repeat them a few times. That’s almost exactly what Glass does, except he repeats the music itself.”