The Scene


Stephen Powell

Stephen Powell
Sue Reno.


The dynamic American baritone Stephen Powell brings his “rich, lyric baritone, commanding presence, and thoughtful musicianship” to a wide range of music (Wall Street Journal). He recently made a successful debut performance as the title role in Macbeth with Michigan Opera Theatre, of which Opera News wrote “Powell’s undeniably powerful voice seethed with potential until his astonishing Act IV andante, when the gleaming beauty and sumptuous musicality of his rich baritone was finally given resplendent display.”

In the 2017-18 season, Mr. Powell made debuts with the Los Angeles Master Chorale in Carmina Burana, and with Odyssey Opera Boston as Bishop Pierre Cauchon in Dello Joio’s The Trial at Rouen. He returned to Boston Baroque in Messiah, sang Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro with Michigan Opera Theatre, Carmina Burana with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Jochanaan in Salome with Minnesota Orchestra, and returned to Portland Opera as the title role in Rigoletto. In the summer of 2018, Mr. Powell joined the Orquestra Filarmonica de Minas Gerais in Brazil as soloist in a Bernstein centennial concert, performing Trouble in Tahiti and Arias and Barcarolles.

In the 2018-19 season, Mr. Powell returns to Oliver Jordan in WIlliam Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight with Wexford Festival Opera; returns to San Diego Opera as Rigoletto, and in concert with Stephen Costello; performs with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Brahms’ Requiem, and as soloist in Carmina Burana with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and North Carolina Symphony.

In the 2016-17 season, Mr. Powell made his Seattle Opera debut as Germont in La traviata, as well as with the San Diego Opera, for which Opera Today wrote, “Powell’s large, resonant voice enchanted the San Diego operagoers, and they greeted his aria ‘Di Provenza il mar, il suol’ with momentous applause.” He also sang Oliver Jordan in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Dinner at Eight with Minnesota Opera and made his role debut as Prus in The Makropulos Case with San Francisco Opera. As concert soloist, Mr. Powell joined Kansas City Symphony and North Carolina Symphony in Britten’s War Requiem, and Philadelphia Orchestra in Carmina Burana.

Mr. Powell’s recent opera roles include Scarpia in Tosca with Minnesota Opera, Germont with Opera Company of Philadelphia, and Iago in Otello with Minnesota Orchestra. As concert soloist, he recently sang Messiah for his National Symphony Orchestra debut at the John F. Kennedy Center and with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He also returned to Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony Orchestra in Carmina Burana, New Jersey Symphony in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, and the Houston Symphony in Fauré’s Requiem.

Throughout his distinguished opera career, Mr. Powell has sung the title role in Rigoletto with Caramoor Festival, Lyric Opera Baltimore and Cincinnati Opera; the title role in Simon Boccanegra with Warsaw’s Ludwig van Beethoven Association; Rodrigue in Don Carlos and Alphonse in La favorite with Caramoor Festival; Enrico in Lucia di Lammmermoor with Los Angeles Opera and Atlanta Opera; Scarpia with Colorado Symphony Orchestra; Sweeney Todd and Falstaff with Virginia Opera; Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with San Francisco Opera and Los Angeles Opera; Zurga in Les pêcheurs de perles and Germont with New York City Opera; Tonio in I Pagliacci with San Diego Opera; Count di Luna in Il trovatore with Cincinnati Opera; Miller in Luisa Miller at the Cincinnati May Festival; Germont with Los Angeles Opera; and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with such companies as Lyric Opera of Chicago, L’Opéra de Montréal, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Kentucky Opera, and Portland Opera.

As orchestral soloist, Mr. Powell has sung with major orchestras in the United States and abroad, including Cleveland, Zürich, Cincinnati, Saint Louis, San Francisco, Baltimore, Atlanta, and Houston symphony orchestras. He has performed with the world’s greatest conductors, including David Robertson, Leonard Slatkin, Robert Spano, Andrew Litton, Charles Dutoit, Grant Llewellyn, Antony Walker, David Zinman and Michael Tilson Thomas.

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