Gustavo Castro-Ramirez, D.M.A.
Instructor Faculty: Vocal Coach and Collaborative Pianist
Lionel Hampton School of Music
875 Perimeter Drive MS 4015
Moscow, Idaho 83844-4015
- D.M.A. Opera Coaching
- M.M. Opera Production
- M.M. Piano Performance
- M.M. Piano Accompanying
For the Costa Rican born pianist and opera coach Gustavo Castro (Luis Gustavo Castro-Ramirez), music is an international language, and within this idea, vocal music amalgamates his love for cultures, languages and music.
Dr. Castro has collaborated in productions with opera companies and programs such as Astoria Music Festival (OR), Butler Opera Center (TX), Cascadia Chamber Opera (OR), Costa Rica National Lyric Company (CR), Florida State Opera (FL), Eugene Opera (OR), Opera Bend (OR), and Opera Nova Costa Rica (OR/CR). He has served as opera conductor, assistant conductor, chorus master, rehearsal pianist, continuo player, and orchestra pianist in about 50 different operatic productions.
As a collaborative pianist, he has performed a vast repertoire with singers and instrumentalists that includes works from the baroque to the contemporary musical periods. This activity has taken him to perform recitals in Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Nicaragua, and the United States. Since 1995 he performs regularly in a duet with his wife, American contralto Dr. Karen Esquivel. One of their main interests is to expose the audience to the little known, yet exquisite, Spanish lyric repertoire.
In 2010, along with his wife, he created the Opera Nova Costa Rica international summer training program that takes place in Costa Rica every other year during the month of July. The purpose of this program is to provide an operatic cultural exchange to young opera singers from Costa Rica and the United States. During three weeks the students live in local Costa Rican households. They receive voice lessons, musical coachings, participate in master classes, and put together two performances: a program of opera arias or scenes, and a fully staged opera, all in their original language.
As an active member of the National Opera Association (NOA), Dr. Castro has presented, alongside with Dr. Esquivel, the lectures “La ópera española: An Introduction to the Hidden Jewels of Spanish Through-Sung Opera” – 2012 –, and “No Fear French Baroque Opera (or Is Adultery, Passion and Murder still Relevant?)” – 2018 –. In 2012 he won the NOA Twenty-eighth Scholarly Papers Competition for outstanding scholarly papers on operatic subjects. His article “Spanish Operatic Identity vis-à-vis Bizet’s Carmen” was published in The Opera Journal in June 2013.
Dr. Castro holds degrees from Florida State University, the National Conservatory of Music of Strasbourg (France), the University of Costa Rica, and the University of Texas at Austin. In the past he has taught at the University of Oregon, University of Central Missouri, the University of Costa Rica, and the National University of Costa Rica.