Suffering opera star: Divorce nearly killed my voice

Suffering opera star: Divorce nearly killed my voice


norman lebrecht

October 06, 2015

American tenor Stephen Costello has spoken out for the first time about the circumstances of his marriage split with soprano Ailyn Perez. It got so bad he quit midway through a duet, he tells Slipped Disc contributor Shawn Milnes in an exclusive interview:



Costello walked out of the concert after the first few bars of the opening duet with Perez and she was forced to finish the concert solo.

“I had reflux that was so bad my throat was fried. I came on. I was singing halfway through my duet and I couldn’t do it. I think I even said the words, ‘OK, I’m done.’ And I walked offstage.

“The stress was just too much of me being out there trying to pretend everything is fine. How can you sing songs and pretend that you’re in love with someone knowing that you’re divorcing them at that point? I ended up sitting on the steps of the Kennedy Center and I couldn’t leave.”

Read the full interview here on Daily Beast.



  • Jevgeniy says:


  • CDH says:

    Pity. And unlike the last “love couple,” these two generally turned up when expected.

  • Una says:

    What a saga …

  • Dave says:

    Good Lord! Suck it up. People paid good money so that you can blubber about your failed marriage?

  • Al says:

    Right. Now after his hearbreak recovery, what excuse does he have for that mediocre Duke at the Met? We all have our issues. He’s had it quite easy with Bill paving the way.
    So what we have here is just another example of a talent who went for the money before he was ready. Didn’t learn how to sing properly and sadly started his decline. Don’t think so? Look at Villazon. Even Valenti has had issues. Fabiano is smarter and has kept developing.

  • Gene Packard says:

    I knew Ailyn briefly. I was a promoter of operatic recital performances and she sang at one of the at Stockton College in Galloway Twp,New Jersey. I can say that although talented and lovely , she was the most unfriendly singer I had ever engaged. She also struck me as very rigid and, given Costello’s very relaxed attitude claiming that only “singing was as good as sex” I can’t imagine them as an enduring couple. Again, an excellent example of love being confused with physical attraction.

  • Francesco says:

    I’m with Dave. Get a grip. I can’f believe this guy got a ridiculous excused published.
    He must be buds with whoever wrote that stupid article. This is the type of garbage drama that gets spread around social media lime cheap gossip.
    What kind of man blames his failures on his wife?