Anthony Roth Costanzo ’04 Becomes a Professional Opera Singer

Anthony Roth Costanzo ’04 Becomes a Professional Opera Singer


[ Singing ]>>Hi. I’m Anthony Roth Costanzo. I graduated in ’04, and I’m now an opera singer, a countertenor about to make my
debut at the Metropolitan Opera. At Princeton, I majored in music, and
I got a certificate in Italian Studies. And it was a fantastic program,
the music program, but I was also because of the distribution
requirements encouraged and able to take a lot of courses in varying disciplines. When I came to Princeton, I had been performing
opera for about almost — Well, let’s see. I’d been performing professionally on
Broadway and in film since I was 11 years old and had been performing opera since I was 13. So I’ve been doing it a long time, and
I knew that was a real interest of mine. And I struggled with the decision about whether
to go to a conservatory or whether to go to a university like Princeton where
I would have a broader education. And I found as I get farther and farther into
this career of being an artist that my time at Princeton and my work at Princeton
was really invaluable in terms of making me a more well-rounded, a more
cultured, and a more educated person, which allows me to approach the artistic
things from many different angles. And it can range. You know, opera has a lot of layers, and
you can approach it in different ways. So, you know, there are the obvious things like
the literature I studied or the ethics classes that I took at Princeton allowed me to look
at the stories themselves and take them apart such that I can really get
to the root of a character. But at the same time, just looking some of the
quantitative reasoning that we do at Princeton, you know, helps me to look at music, which is sort of at base a somewhat mathematical
thing, and put it together in my head. It really conditioned the way I think. And I find that very helpful in unexpected ways. Well, you know, I took Peter
Singer’s course on ethics. Practical ethics is what he called it. And so, there’s sort of practical
applications of these larger ethical principles. I did perform when I was at Princeton. In fact, my senior thesis
was a thrilling project where I rallied all different departments. I think we have nine departments
participating in various ways and as well as some artists I had worked
with professionally. And so, it was a real intersection
of arts and academics. And I feel that Princeton and their campus
provide a whole host of unique opportunities where we can realize that intersection. [ Singing ]

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