Skip to Content


Story/Teller Arts: Ricky Ian Gordon on Seeing Through: A Chronicle of Sex, Drugs, and Opera with Anthony Roth Costanzo

Tuesday, 7:00 pm EDT July 23, 2024

The Center for Fiction
& Livestreamed

Ricky Ian Gordon, one of the greatest American composers of this generation, is known for his incredible compositions for the stage, including 27, My Life with Albertine, and his opera adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath. The Center for Fiction is thrilled to welcome Gordon to celebrate his memoir Seeing Through: A Chronicle of Sex, Drugs, and Opera. The book is an intimate and compelling testament to all he has endured, from addiction to the devastation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Written with warmth and humor, Gordon shares the story of a remarkable life, guided by music through its sorrows. Grammy Award-winning countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo joins Gordon for an evening of conversation, celebration, and music.

9780374605728_FC Large

In Conversation

  • credit to Kevin Doyle

    Ricky Ian Gordon

    Ricky Ian Gordon

    Ricky Ian Gordon was born in Oceanside, NY and raised on Long Island. After studying piano, composition, and acting, at Carnegie Mellon University, he settled in New York City, where he quickly emerged as a leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera, and musical theater. Gordon’s songs have been performed and recorded by Renée Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Nathan Gunn, Judy Collins, Kelli O’Hara, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, and many others. His works include Dream True, Orpheus and Euridice, Green Sneakers for Baritone, String Quartet, Empty Chair, and Piano, The Grapes of Wrath, and Intimate Apparel.

    Photo Credit: Kevin Doyle

  • image1

    Anthony Roth Costanzo

    Anthony Roth Costanzo

    Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo began performing professionally at the age of 11 and has since appeared in opera, concert, recital, film, and on Broadway. He was recently awarded a Grammy, an Honorary Doctorate from Manhattan School of Music, a visiting fellowship from Oxford University, and the History Makers Award from the New York Historical Society. He is a distinguished visiting scholar at Harvard, a recipient of the 2020 Beverly Sills Award from the Metropolitan Opera, a winner of the 2020 Opera News Award, and Musical America’s 2019 Vocalist of the Year.

    Costanzo has appeared with many of the world’s leading opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, English National Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Los Angeles Opera, Canadian Opera Company, Glyndebourne Opera Festival, Dallas Opera, Teatro Real Madrid, Spoleto Festival USA, Glimmerglass Festival, and Finnish National Opera. In concert he has sung with the New York Philharmonic, The Cleveland Orchestra, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, NDR at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and Philharmonia Baroque, among others.

    Costanzo works as a producer and curator in addition to performing, creating and producing the New York Philharmonic’s celebrated Bandwagon initiative during the Covid pandemic, as well as shows for The BBC Proms, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Opera Philadelphia, National Sawdust, Philharmonia Baroque, The Barnes Foundation, St. John The Divine, Princeton University, WQXR, The State Theater in Salzburg, Master Voices and Kabuki-Za Tokyo.

    He graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Princeton University, where he has returned to teach, and received his Masters of Music from the Manhattan School of Music, where he now serves on the board of Trustees. He is also on the board of National Black Theater.

    Photo Credit: Matthew Placek