OPERA COMPETITION: ANTHONY ROTH COSTANZO ’04, a countertenor, was one of four winners of the 2009 National Council Auditions sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera. The honor brings a cash prize of $15,000. Nearly 1,800 people entered the competition. The eight finalists performed arias with the MET Orchestra Feb. 22. “This is the top of the pyramid for young singers and has launched numerous international careers,” says Princeton University Orchestra conductor Michael Pratt, who also directs Princeton’s Program in Musical Performance. Costanza has appeared with orchestras across the United States. He co-wrote, produced, and starred in a film about the making of his senior thesis, The Double Life of Zefirino, which will air on PBS next season.
PRINCETON PHILOSOPHERS IN FILM: CORNEL WEST *80, KWAME ANTHONY APPIAH, and PETER SINGER are featured in the documentary Examined Life, written and directed by Astra Taylor, which was released in 2008 and shown in theaters this winter and spring. Each subject has about 10 minutes on screen. The film, based on Socrates’ quote “The unexamined life is not worth living,” shows West riding in the back seat of a car in rush-hour traffic as he compares philosophy to jazz and blues, Appiah discussing cosmopolitanism in Toronto’s international airport, and Singer talking about the ethics of consumption while walking on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
ART AWARD: EVE ASCHHEIM, senior lecturer in Princeton’s Program in Visual Arts, is one of 25 artists awarded a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. The annual $25,000 award recognizes painters and sculptors nationwide. Aschheim teaches painting and drawing. The Museum of Modern Art and the Yale University Art Museum recently have acquired her drawings.