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Anthony Roth Costanzo, Star Countertenor, to Lead Opera Philadelphia

Anthony Roth Costanzo, the celebrated American countertenor who is one of opera’s biggest stars, will lead Opera Philadelphia as its next general director and president, the company announced on Thursday.

Costanzo, 41, whose tenure starts in June, will be a rare figure in the classical music industry: an artist in his prime who is also working as an administrator. He said he would continue to perform widely even as he works to reshape Opera Philadelphia, which has struggled to recover from the disruption of the pandemic.

“I’m really interested in how I can have the most impact,” Costanzo said in an interview. “And there’s only so much you can do as an individual artist.”

Stephen K. Klasko, the chair of Opera Philadelphia’s board of directors, said Costanzo rose to the top of a list of 40 candidates because of his eagerness to attract new audiences and form new partnerships as the company looks for a sustainable business model.

“He’s enthusiastic, he’s positive,” Klasko said, “and he sees our future as being an entity that goes beyond opera.”

At Opera Philadelphia, Costanzo will oversee fund-raising, business strategy, audience development, community initiatives and artistic planning. Klasko said that while Costanzo did not have traditional credentials, the board was impressed by his work as a creative producer and impresario. Costanzo has curated festivals, for example, at the New York Philharmonic.

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