Fall Preview Party 2015 - Bios

Deborah Voigt

Deborah Voigt is increasingly recognized as one of the world’s most versatile singers and one of music’s most endearing personalities. Through her performances and television appearances, she is known for the singular power and beauty of her voice, as well as for her captivating stage presence. Having made her name as a leading dramatic soprano, she is internationally revered for her performances in the operas of Wagner, Strauss, and more, and is also an active recitalist and performer of Broadway standards and popular songs. Besides boasting an extensive discography, she appears regularly as both performer and host in the Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series, which is transmitted live to movie theaters around the world.


In 2015 one of Voigt’s most personal projects come to fruition, with HarperCollins’s publication of Call Me Debbie: True Confessions of a Down-to-Earth Diva. This “startlingly frank” (Associated Press) and “hard to put down” (Opera) memoir, which Voigt discussed at book signings around the country and in interviews with the Today show, PBS NewsHour and People magazine, will be released in paperback in January 2016. Voigt’s one-woman show also returns in the 2015-16 season. Developed in close collaboration with playwright Terrence McNally and director Francesca Zambello at the famed MacDowell Colony, and directed by Richard Jay-Alexander with music direction by Kevin Stites, Voigt Lessons weaves 18 songs and arias of special personal
significance to Voigt into a vivid narration of the story of her life and career. Voigt Lessons was premiered at the Glimmerglass Festival and has been performed in Boston, New York City and, most recently Provincetown. After her debut last season in the title role of Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Voigt returns to the world of operetta in October, starring in a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in New York City; the two performances with MasterVoices (formerly the Collegiate Chorale) and its artistic director Ted Sperling launch a new partnership with City Center presenting operas and operettas in English in semi-staged, theatrical concerts. Off the stage, Voigt will serve as host at various events and as judge at various competitions throughout the season.


In the 2014-15 season Voigt served as WQXR’s inaugural Susan W. Rose Artist-in-Residence, co-hosting the opening-night broadcast of Carnegie Hall Live, hosting the classical station’s series The Sopranos with Debbie Voigt; hosting and performing at the New York Public Radio Gala, and co-hosting a number of opera events and masterclasses at WQXR’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. Meanwhile, as returning Artist-in- Residence at the Washington National Opera, Voigt continued mentoring young singers in the company’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program. In 2013 Voigt hosted the San Francisco benefit concert for Sing With Haiti, to aid the rebuilding of Haiti’s Holy Trinity Music School, destroyed in the earthquake of 2010. Under James Levine’s leadership at the Met, she made her role debut as Marie in Berg’s Wozzeck, opposite Thomas Hampson. Recitals over the past two seasons took her to cities across the U.S., including Boston, Miami, Fort Worth, Kansas City, Palm Desert, Stanford, and Sonoma. In concert, she collaborated with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and Zurich’s Tonhalle Orchestra, and made a pair of special guest appearances, duetting with singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright at London’s BBC Proms, and joining Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth for a medley of music and comedy at Carnegie Hall.


Throughout her career, Voigt has given definitive performances of iconic roles in German opera, from Richard Strauss’s Ariadne, Salome, Kaiserin (Die Frau ohne Schatten) and Chrysothemis (Elektra) to Wagner’s Sieglinde (Die Walküre), Elisabeth (Tannhäuser), and Isolde. She is also noted for starring roles in Strauss’s Egyptian Helen, Der Rosenkavalier, and Friedenstag; Wagner’s Lohengrin; and Berlioz’s Les Troyens; and her portrayals of such popular Italian roles as Tosca, Aida, Amelia (Un ballo in maschera), Leonora (La forza del destino), La Gioconda, and Minnie (La fanciulla del West).

Voigt’s extensive discography includes two popular and critically successful solo recordings for EMI Classics: All My Heart: Deborah Voigt Sings American Songs with pianist Brian Zeger, named one of the “Best of the Year” by Opera News magazine, and the Billboard top-five bestseller Obsessions, which presents scenes and arias from operas by Wagner and Strauss. Her recording of Strauss’s Egyptian Helen was another Billboard bestseller and was again named one of the best of the year by Opera News. Deutsche Grammophon released a live recording of Voigt’s headlining role debut in the 2003 Vienna State Opera Tristan und Isolde, as well as a Blu-ray DVD set of her starring role as Brünnhilde in Robert Lepage’s visionary Ring cycle at the Met, which won the Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording of 2013.

A devotee of Broadway and American song, Voigt has given acclaimed performances of popular fare, including benefit concerts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and New York Theatre Workshop. She has sung with Barbara Cook and Dianne Reeves at the Hollywood Bowl, and given performances in Lincoln Center’s long-running American Songbook series, singing Broadway and popular standards. In the summer of 2011 Voigt won praise as Annie Oakley at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, headlining both Irving Berlin’s beloved Annie Get Your Gun and her own Voigt Lessons. Millions of viewers heard Voigt sing “America the Beautiful” on NBC’s nationwide broadcast of Macy’s Independence Day fireworks show in 2004, and later that year they witnessed her majestic ride down Broadway in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. She has also been profiled by many important national media outlets, such as CBS’s 60 Minutes, Good Morning America, and Vanity Fair.

Voigt studied at California State University at Fullerton. She was a member of San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program and won both the Gold Medal in Moscow’s International Tchaikovsky Competition and First Prize at Philadelphia’s Luciano Pavarotti International Voice Competition. A Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, she was
Musical America’s Vocalist of the Year 2003, won a 2007 Opera News Award for distinguished achievement, and has received Honorary Doctorates from Smith College (2015) and the University of South Carolina (2009). Known to Twitter fans as a “Dramatic soprano and down-to-earth Diva,” Voigt was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the top 25 cultural tweeters to follow.

Anthony Roth Costanzo

Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway. In the 2015/16 season, Costanzo sings the title role in a new production of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten at the English National Opera, and makes his debuts at Chicago Lyric Opera in the world premiere of Bel Canto, and at the Dallas Opera in the world premiere of Jake Heggie’s Great Scott. He premieres a monodrama at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and reprises Great Scott at San Diego Opera. He also continues his collaboration with Peter Sellars at the Ojai Festival, sings in the world premieres of two operas in the Ouroboros Trilogy in Boston, produced by Beth Morrison, and joins Trinity Wall Street as a soloist in the Messiah.

Recently, Costanzo has appeared at the Metropolitan Opera as both Ferdinand and Prospero in the world premiere of The Enchanted Island, as well as Prince Orlofsky in a new production of Die Fledermaus. He made his debut at the MET as Unulfo in Rodelinda. Last season, he debuted at San Francisco Opera in Partenope, at the English National Opera in Peter Sellar’s Indian Queen, at Glyndebourne in Rinaldo, and at the Teatro Real in Death in Venice. He has appeared in recent seasons with The Glimmerglass Festival, Canadian Opera Company, The Opera Company of Philadelphia, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Michigan Opera Theater, Palm Beach Opera, The North Carolina Opera, and as a guest with Juilliard Opera.

In other recent appearances, Costanzo played Prince Go-Go in the New York Philharmonic’s acclaimed production of Le Grand Macabre, and sang in concert with Jordi Savall at Versailles and the Philharmonie de Paris; with flutist Claire Chase at SubCulture; and at with Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival premiering a new work with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). He has performed the Messiah with The Cleveland Orchestra and at Carnegie Hall and has been a featured soloist with the orchestras of Indianapolis, Alabama, Detroit, Denver, Seattle, Trinity Wall Street, and with the National Symphony Orchestra. He has sung in recital at the Teatro Real, with Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake, Princeton University, Duke University, the Miller Theater and The Morgan Library.

In 2012, Costanzo won first place in Placido Domingo’s international competition Operalia. He is also a 2009 Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He won a George London Award, received a career grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and became the first countertenor to win First Place in the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCullom competition, where he also won the audience choice prize. He received a Sullivan Foundation Award, and won First Place in the Opera Index Competition, the National Opera Association Vocal Competition, and the Jensen Foundation Competition.

Costanzo is passionate about interdisciplinary collaboration, and created a pasticcio about castrati in collaboration with choreographer Karole Armitage and filmmaker James Ivory. Documentarian Gerardo Puglia chronicled the process, and the subsequent film was selected for the Cannes Film Festival, qualified for an Academy Award, and aired on PBS affiliates. Costanzo played Francis in the Merchant Ivory film, A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries, for which he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award, and Simon in Brice Cauvin’s De particulier a particulier. Working with composers, choreographers, directors and performance artists, he has appeared in New York venues such as Le Poisson Rouge, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,
Joe’s Pub, The Park Avenue Armory, The Guggenheim Museum, and Merkin Concert Hall. In his youth, he performed on Broadway and in Broadway National Tours including A Christmas Carol, The Sound of Music, and Falsettos. He began his operatic career playing Miles in The Turn of the Screw, and with an appearance alongside Luciano Pavarotti. Mr. Costanzo graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University where he was awarded the Lewis Sudler Prize for extraordinary achievement in the arts and where he has returned to teach both a course and master classes. He received his Masters of Music at Manhattan School of Music where he won the Hugh Ross Award for a singer of unusual promise. He lives in New York City.

David Leigh

David Leigh, a bass from New York City, received his BA in Music Composition from Yale University, an MM in Voice from Mannes College, and a second MM, in Opera, from Yale School of Music.

With Yale Opera he has appeared as Colline in La Bohème, King Rene in Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta, Alidoro in La Cenerentola, and Capellio in I Capuleti e i Montecchi. David has also sung the role of the Commendatore in Don Giovanni (Mannes Opera and IVAI Tel Aviv), and has spent the last two summers as a Vocal Fellow at the Music Academy of the West, most recently singing Zuniga in Carmen. Previously, he was a Young Artist at Chautauqua Opera, where he was awarded the Goldfarb Young Artist Award.

In 2015, he performs at the New York City Opera Renaissance Gala in honor of Julius Rudel, his first Fafner in Wagner’s Siegfried, makes his debut at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist, and sings with the Ravinia Steans Music Institute. A winner of the 2015 Eastern Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, he sang on the Met stage in March as a National Semifinalist.

Allegra De Vita

Allegra De Vita is a mezzo-soprano from Trumbull, Connecticut. She recently returned from The Glimmerglass Festival where she sang the role of Fulvio in Vivaldi’s Cato in Utica in addition to covering the role of the 3rd lady in The Magic Flute. She completed her Masters in Opera Performance at Rice University where she was seen as Ariodante in Handel’s Ariodante, Dorabella in Così Fan Tutte, Erminella in Volpone and Florence Pike in Albert Herring.

Ms. De Vita was an Apprentice Singer with the Santa Fe Opera in the summer of 2014. On fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival, she has performed Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea and Jordan Baker in John Harbison’s The Great Gatsby. In 2014 she was a soloist in Beethoven 9th Symphony with both the Naples Philharmonic and the Lexington Philharmonic. She has performed Ravel’s Shéhérazade with the Allen Philharmonic and Dan Forrest’s Requiem for the Living with The Montgomery County Choral Society. She was part of the Wolf Trap Opera Studio Artist Program where she was the cover for Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann. At Opera Theater of Connecticut she was seen as Flora in La Traviata, Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana and the Monitor in Suor Angelica.

Ms. De Vita was most recently a 2015 Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She won the gold medal in voice and was the Grand Prize winner for the Young Texas Artists Competition as well as 1st place at the Amici Vocal Competition. She has placed in the National Opera Association’s Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, Connecticut Opera Guild Young Artists Scholarship Competition and the Young Patronesses of the Opera Vocal Competition. Allegra was part of the inaugural programs for both Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists Vocal Academy and Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices.

Ms. De Vita also holds a bachelor’s degree in biology with a neuroscience concentration and minor in music performance from Sacred Heart University. She is currently a first year resident at the Academy of Vocal Arts.