The dynamic American baritone Stephen Powell brings his handsome voice, elegant musicianship, and robust stage presence to a wide range of music, from Monteverdi and Handel through Verdi and Puccini to Sondheim and John Adams. Opera magazine has hailed him, writing "the big news was Stephen Powell's gorgeously-sung Onegin: rock solid, with creamy legato from top to bottom and dynamics smoothly tapered but never exaggerated," while The Wall Street Journal lauded his "rich, lyric baritone, commanding presence, and thoughtful musicianship." In his recent debut in the title role of Verdi's Falstaff, the Washington Times had this to say - "Vocally, Mr. Powell has a dominant, authoritative instrument but capably works falsetto and humorous tics into his routine as well. He is quite simply a marvelous, fully realized Falstaff, which is, after all, what this opera needs....with a Falstaff like Mr. Powell, everything else in the production pretty much falls into place."
The 2015-2016 season begins with Mr. Powell returning to Opera Philadelphia in the familiar role of Germont in Verdi'sLa Traviata. Then another return engagement, this time with the NJ Symphony singing Beethoven's 9th Symphony, with wife Barbara Shirvis as the Soprano soloist. The season continues with Scarpia in Puccini'sToscawith Minnesota Opera; his title role debut in Verdi's Macbethwith Michigan Opera Theatre; a return to the Houston Symphony in Fauré's Requiem, and a world premiere of composer Jonathan Leshnoff's new symphony for baritone soloist and orchestra.
The 2014-2015 season began with a return to Virginia Opera to sing the title role in Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and to Cincinnati Opera as Conte di Luna in Verdi's Il Trovatore. He reprised Orff's Carmina Burana with Cleveland Orchestra(in Miami); debuted with the Colorado Symphony singing Scarpia in Puccini'sToscain a semi-staged version; sang Mozart's Requiem with Music of the Baroque; and performed in the 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration Concert for San Diego Opera. He returned to Atlanta Symphony for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, and appeared as the Lenape tribe/baritone soloist in a World Premiere performance of Brent Michael Davids' Opera Purchase of Manhattan in New York City. The summer of 2015 brought a return to the Caramoor Festival debuting the role of Alphonse XI, King of Castille, in Donizetti'sLa Favorite, as well as Sharpless in Puccini'sMadama Butterfly with the Minnesota Orchestra. He then sang a concert of Italian arias with wife Barbara Shirvis with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Summer of 2014 saw his debut at Tanglewood singing Amonasro in Verd'sAidawith Boston Symphony Orchestra, a return to Caramoor in the title role of Verdi'sRigoletto, and Orff's Carmina Burana with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Other recent successes include his San Francisco Opera debut as Sharpless in Madama Butterfly; Ford in Falstaff with New York City Opera; appearing with the Washington Concert Opera as Riccardo in I puritani, conducted by Antony Walker; performing with the North Carolina Symphony as Count in Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by Grant Llewellyn; with Arizona Opera as Germont in La traviata; with Hawaii Opera Theatre as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia; with Austin Lyric Opera in a gala concert; returning to the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in Messiah; singing Carmina Burana with Oregon Symphony, conducted by Carlos Kalmar; and appearing with the Singing City Choir (Philadelphia) in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis. In summer of 2007 Stephen Powell sang Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Spano, and at the Aspen Music Festival, conducted by David Zinman; Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Philadelphia Orchestra, both at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival and the Mann Center, with conductor Rossen Milanov; and Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, also at Aspen.