14th February 1808
29th April 1884
Sir Michael Andrew Angus Costa was an Italian-born conductor and composer who achieved success in England.
Amongst the works of Costa's maturity may be listed his ballets Kenilworth (1831), Une Heure à Naples(1832), Sir Huon (composed for Taglioni) in 1833 and the ballet Alma (1844, later revived as La fille du marbre). His opera Malek Adhel was produced in Paris in 1837 and in London in 1844, as was his opera Don Carlos.
In 1855 Costa wrote the oratorio Eli, and in 1864 Naaman, both for Birmingham. Rossini's comment on the former was: "The good Costa has sent me an oratorio score and a Stilton cheese. The cheese was very good." An aria from Eli, "I will extol thee", was recorded in 1910 by the great British dramatic soprano Agnes Nicholls (1876–1959), and the quality of Costa's music can be judged on various CD re-masterings of this particular disc which have been issued in recent years.