Anna Stéphany is emerging as one of the world’s most exciting mezzo sopranos. In demand by both opera companies and orchestras, she is a firm favourite with conductors and directors. Her recording of Handel’s Serse for Chandos won critical acclaim, as did her performances of the repertoire of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. Anna was part of the ensemble at Zürich Opera, she has also sung with major opera companies throughout Europe. Anna studied at the Guildhall and was a winner of the Gold Medal and the Kathleen Ferrier Competition.
Anglo-French mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany has been praised for her stage-craft and for possessing a voice that Gramophone Magazine calls “a superb, glowing, impassioned mezzo”.
Ms. Stéphany joined Zürich Opera House in 2012/13 where she made her debut as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro and Dorabella in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, further roles in Zürich include Siebel in Gounod’s Faust; Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann; Minerva in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria. Although no longer part of the ensemble from August 2015, her close relationship with Zürich Opera House continues into the future with Sesto in La Clemenzadi Tito, a new production of Purcell’s King Arthur, Charlotte in Werther and Romeo in Capuleti e i Montecchi.
One of her most coveted roles is Octavian in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier; she made her role debut to critical acclaim at the Bolshoi Theatre in 2011. Ms. Stephany makes her debut at the Royal Swedish Opera this season with Octavian and with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2016.
She made her critically acclaimed opera recording debut in 2013 in the title role of Handel’s Serse with Christian Curnyn and Early Opera Company, of which The Guardian said “Anna Stephany sweeps all before her as a magnificent Serse”.
Anna Stéphany has appeared as Rosina in Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia at Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris; Annio in Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito at Aix-en-Provence; the title role in Charpentier’s Médée at Chicago Opera Theater and in 2013 she covered Joyce DiDonato in La Donna del Lago at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She made her debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich stepping in as Annio in La Clemenza di Tito and returned last season as La Musica and Speranza in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.
On the concert stage Ms. Stéphany has performed with some of the world’s finest orchestras. Recent appearances include Handel in New York, London and Paris with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/William Christie in a tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, performances with Philharmonia Orchestra/Jakub Hrusa; Pygmalion/Raphaël Pichon; Balthasar Neumann/Thomas Hengelbrock; La Scintilla/Laurence Cummings; St Matthew Passion with the Handel & Haydn Society conducted by Harry Christophers and La damoiselle élue with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen.
In the coming seasons Ms. Stéphany will perform in concert with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra under Fabio Luisi; with La Nuova Musica at the Wigmore Hall; with the Radio Filharmonic Orchestra and Choir in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor; with the Bremer Philharmonic in Elgar’s Sea Pictures conducted by Matthew Halls and in recital at the Oxford Lieder Festival.
Anna Stéphany was born in the North East of England and studied at King’s College London and the National Opera Studio. She is a Guildhall Gold Medal recipient, represented England at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and is a winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Award.
“It was the Peter Sellars staging of Theodora at Glyndebourne in 1996, conducted by Christie, that gave Hunt Lieberson her most memorable UK role, as the rock-like disciple Irene. So it was little surprise that the singer here who brought Hunt Lieberson’s presence most to mind should be Anna Stéphany, with two of Irene’s arias. Her low, sonorous tones captured the character’s serenity, and she began the reprise of As With Rosy Steps the Morn so quietly that one almost thought her voice might crack; Hunt Lieberson was nothing if not a risk-taker.” Erica Jeal, The Guardian (5 June 2013)
“Stéphany’s well-sustained line and rich timbre in two noble arias from Theodora was touching” Richard Morrison, The Times (5 June 2013)
“Reviewing the live recording of Peter Sellars’ acclaimed production, Rupert Christiansen commented, ‘it is impossible to conceive of this character’s arias being sung with more grave beauty or emotional commitment than [Hunt Lieberson] brings to them’.