The Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions may be "too venerable to be called 'Metropolitan Idol,'" The New York Times wrote Feb. 23, but the stakes are just as high: Winning the competition can launch a young performer's career in the same way that a win on American Idol can propel a budding pop singer to the top 40. That's great news for Anthony Roth Costanzo ’04, one of four winners at this year's auditions, held Feb. 22.

Costanzo, described by the Times as "a slender countertenor with heavyweight vocal cords," performed on Broadway before arrived at Princeton. He explored his operatic talents in his senior thesis, creating, producing, and starring in a full-scale production, "The Double Life of Zeferino." After college, he earned a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

Nearly 1,800 entrants sang in this year's National Council Auditions. Eight finalists reached the Met stage in New York. "This competition is of such importance, such magnitude, that it's hard to fully absorb," Costanzo told the Times before his Feb. 22 performance. "For me, it is best to go out there with a mind-set that I am simply performing, not competing."

Mission accomplished. In addition to winning the National Council Auditions, Costanzo won first place at the National Opera Association's vocal competition, held in Washington, D.C., in January. Later this year, he is slated to perform with the Seattle Opera's Young Artists Program, the Glimmerglass Opera in upstate New York, and the New York Philharmonic in Manhattan.

(Photo courtesy the National Opera Association)

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