Meet Dr. Castro-Ramirez

Please use Professional bio for programs and publications

Gustavo Castro-Ramirez, pianist and opera coach, was born in San José, Costa Rica. Dr. Castro obtained a Superior Diploma in Chamber Music and a Second Medallion in Piano Performance at the National Conservatory of the Region of Strasbourg, France. After having completed three Master’s degrees, in Piano Performance at the University of Costa Rica, and in Opera Coaching and Piano Accompanying at the Florida State University, he obtained a Doctoral degree in Opera Coaching at the University of Texas at Austin.

He has participated as a soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of the University of Costa Rica, and the Costa Rican National Symphony Orchestra. He also assisted in operatic productions of the Costa Rican National Lyric Company, Opera Nova Costa Rica, the Florida State Opera, the Butler Opera Center, the University of Oregon Opera Ensemble, and the Eugene Opera.

As a collaborative pianist, he has performed in the United States, France, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, in numerous of these occasions with his wife, contralto Karen Esquivel. His vocal repertoire includes art songs and opera arias for all voice types, in Italian, German, French, English, and Spanish languages. As collaborative pianist and chamber musician, his experience encompasses concerto and sonata repertoire with almost all instruments and time periods, as well as a fair amount of larger chamber ensembles.

Dr. Castro’s coaching/accompanist/conducting operatic experience includes the preparation of operas such as Purcell´s Dido and Aeneas; M. A. Charpentier's Médée; Líteres' Acis y Galatea; Orlandini's Il marito gioccatore e la moglie bacchetona; Handel's Giulio Cesare in Egitto; Glück/Berlioz's Orphée et Eurydice; Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, and Così fan tutte; Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore; Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel; Verdi's Falstaff; Puccini's Madama Butterfly; Britten's Albert Herring; C. Floyd's Susannah; Montsalvatge's El gato con botas; Heggie’s Dead Man Walking; Bolcom's A View from the Bridge; and Catán's La hija de Rappaccini. He participated in the recordings of these last two operas with the Butler Opera Center.

Dr. Castro held faculty positions at the two major public universities in Costa Rica, the Universidad Nacional and the Universidad de Costa Rica. Most recently he worked as freelance collaborative pianist and opera coach at the University of Oregon. Alongside with his wife, Dr. Castro co-directs the Opera Nova International Summer Camp that takes place in Costa Rica during the month of July.

His research activity revolves around the history and development of Spanish through-sung opera. He is the winner of the National Opera Association’s Twenty-eighth Scholarly Papers Competition with his article "Spanish Operatic Identity vis-à-vis Bizet's Carmen." This article was published in The Opera Journal in June 2013.

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