Stephen Lord has been chosen by Opera News as one of the "25 Most Powerful Names in U.S. Opera" (one of four conductors), andis continually praised for conducting both traditional and contemporary operatic works. For his debut with San Francisco Opera, conducting Rigoletto, one critic observed, "He partnered his singers perfectly and gave everything its proper weight - he was master of the score's details and the orchestra played superbly for him." He is currently music director for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and formerly was music director of Boston Lyric Opera. Conductor Stephen Lord was recently named artistic director of opera studies at New England Conservatory, overseeing all aspects of the opera training program and conducting one main stage production a year.
Stephen Lord’s 2014-15 season currently includes conducting Madama Butterfly in a return to Michigan Opera Theatre, and a gala opera arias concert for Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. His 2013-14 engagements included conducting concert versions of Rigoletto and La traviata for the Seoul Arts Center (South Korea) and Un ballo in maschera, again for Canadian Opera Company. He also conducted a gala concert with the Adler Fellows of San Francisco Opera. In the 2012-13 season he returned to Lyric Opera of Chicago to conduct Don Pasquale and L’elisir d’amore, to Santa Fe Opera conducting Rossini’s La donna del lago, to Canadian Opera Company for Lucia di Lammermoor, and conducted Don Pasquale for The Juilliard School opera program.
Recent highlights include his return to English National Opera to conduct its productions of Tosca and La bohème as well as a return to Michigan Opera Theatre to conduct Die Zauberflöte; a return to Wolf Trap Opera to conduct its Opera Alumni Concert; two major debuts, the first with English National Opera to conduct Rigoletto, and the second with Lyric Opera of Chicago to conduct Tosca, which he also conducted for Opera Colorado; La traviata with Portland Opera; Madama Butterfly for Opera Colorado; Macbeth with Opéra de Montréal; L'elisir d'amore with Michigan Opera Theatre; Salome for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; and a return to Wolf Trap Opera to conduct La bohème.
Stephen Lord's other highlights include three productions for Opera Colorado: La traviata, Don Pasquale and Der fliegende Höllander; The Tales of Hoffmann for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals concert; L'elisir d'amore at Boston Lyric Opera; and a concert version of Candide for Wolf Trap Opera. Other highlights include debuts with San Francisco Opera (Rigoletto) and Dallas Opera (La rondine), Un ballo in maschera and Le nozze di Figaro with Boston Lyric Opera, and I puritani for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.
At Opera Theatre of Saint Louis Mr. Lord has conducted Roméo et Juliette, a double bill of Cavalleria rusticana and Suor Angelica, Tosca, Lucia di Lammermoor, The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, La traviata, Kát'a Kabanová, Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Rape of Lucretia, Candide, The Beggar's Opera, Curlew River, The Prodigal Son, The Gondoliers, King Arthur, La Fille du régiment, Ariadne auf Naxos and Madama Butterfly. During his tenure with Boston Lyric Opera he has led productions of The Little Prince, Eugene Onegin, Rigoletto, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, La rondine, Don Carlo, Don Pasquale, Madama Butterfly, La Fille du régiment, Salome, Aida, Die Zauberflöte, La traviata, Roméo et Juliette, Lucia di Lammermoor, Werther, Tosca, L'elisir d'amore, Falstaff, Il barbiere di Siviglia, I puritani and Carmen.
Stephen Lord made his New York City Opera debut in 2004 conducting La rondine. Other career highlights as guest conductor included appearances at Wolf Trap Opera (Roméo et Juliette, La bohème, Le nozze de Figaro and La clemenza di Tito) and with other North American companies such as the Canadian Opera, Opera Colorado, Michigan Opera Theatre, Florentine Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Pacific, Cleveland Opera and Arizona Opera. Mr. Lord has been a guest with the Boston Pops and first appeared in San Francisco leading the Merola Grand Finale Concert for the opera company. He also conducted Opera Omaha in telecast productions of La traviata and Roméo et Juliette, and the world premiere of the completed critical edition of Les Contes d'Hoffmann. Mr. Lord was previously music director of the Banff Festival Opera, where he conducted L'Ormindo, The Rape of Lucretia, Cendrillon, Le nozze di Figaro and Così fan tutte.
In addition to his opera endeavors, Stephen Lord has conducted at Carnegie Hall for PDQ Bach's annual concerts and at the Berkshire Choral Festival Institute. He teaches Master Classes at various institutions including Yale University, The Blossom Festival, the Hartt School of Music and Westminster Choir College, and he serves as an adjudicator in vocal competitions such as the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions, Opera America's George London/Sullivan Grants, and the Richard Tucker Foundation.