Anna Stéphany

Anna Stéphany

MEZZO-SOPRANO

Representation: General Management

Photo: Marco Borggreve

Overview

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.

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Full Biography

Anglo-French mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany has been praised for her stage-craft and “a superb, glowing, impassioned” voice. Anglo-French mezzo-soprano Anna Stéphany was born in the North East of England and studied at the Guildhall School of Music, where she was a recipient of the Gold Medal, and the National Opera Studio.   Anna represented England at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and is a Kathleen Ferrier Award winner.

Anna was a member of the ensemble at Opernhaus Zürich from 2012-15, where she made her debut as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro.  Further roles in Zürich include Dorabella in Cosi fan tutte, Siebel in Gounod’s Faust, Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann and Minerva in Monteverdi’s Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria. Her close relationship with the house has continued with Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito, a new production of Purcell’s King Arthur, Romeo I Capuleti e i Montecchi and Charlotte Werther.

One of her most coveted roles is Octavian in Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier, which she sang at the Bolshoi Theatre in 2011, the Royal Swedish Opera in 2015, and last season made her house debut at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in the role.

Further appearances include 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; Handel’s Theodora with Rias Kammerchor; the title role in Charpentier’s Médée at Chicago Opera Theatre and in 2013 she covered Joyce di Donato 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 the following summer as La Musica and Speranza in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.  A recent highlight was her debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Sesto La Clemenza di Tito, which also formed part of the BBC Proms Festival 2017.

On the concert stage Anna has performed with some of the world’s finest orchestras. Recent appearances include the BBC Proms with the London Philharmonic Orchestra/Jurowsky; Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Cesti’s Orontea with La Nuova Musica at Wigmore Hall, Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the Bremer Philharmoniker, St Matthew Passion with the Handel & Haydn Society/Harry Christophers, a recital with Sholto Kynoch in Lille, La damoiselle élue with the Philharmonia Orchestra/Esa-Pekka Salonen, and a programme of Handel in New York, London and Paris with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/William Christie in a tribute to Lorraine Hunt Lieberson.

Anna made her critically acclaimed opera recording debut in 2013 in the title role of Handel’s Serse with Christian Curnyn and Early Opera Company, returning to reprise the role with the company last season at St John’s Smith Square.

This season, Anna returns to Opernhaus Zürich as Idamante Idomeneo, the Bayersiche Staatsoper as Dorabella Così fan Tutte and to the Glyndebourne Festival as Sesto Giulio Cesare. On the concert platform appearances include Rossini Stabat Mater with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Elijah with Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España and Messiah with the Hallé Orchestra.  She joins the BBC Symphony Orchestra for Alasdair Nicolson’s Shadows on the Wall – Five Hauntings in its London premiere at the Barbican Centre, and returns to the Oxford Lieder Festival, in a recital alongside pianist and festival director Sholto Kynoch.

Artist Website: www.annastephany.com

Promoters please note: if you wish to include this biography in a concert programme etc, please contact Hazard Chase to ensure that you receive the most up to date version.

Email: Evie Parker

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News

Advent Concerts this Christmas

November 24th, 2017

Take a look at the festive programmes coming up this December with Hazard Chase.

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Oxford Lieder Festival 2017

October 13th, 2017

‘The Last of the Romantics’

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Anna Stéphany makes Glyndebourne debut

July 25th, 2017

Mezzo soprano stars in Festival’s last production of the season

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Hazard Chase at the BBC Proms

June 27th, 2017

Hazard Chase artists appearing at the BBC Proms 2017

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Anna Stéphany makes ROH debut

December 16th, 2016

Mezzo stars in new production of Der Rosenkavalier

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Reviews

Mozart LA CLEMENZA DI TITO – Glyndebourne Festival

“Anna Stéphany, replacing a pregnant Kate Lindsey, sang with searing Classical directness and refulgent tone, and in ‘Parto, parto’ she displayed sensational control. Her ‘masculine’ presence was complete too”
John Allison, Opera Magazine, (August 2017)

“But the evening’s undoubted star was Anna Stéphany – a  slender and youthful Sesto, touchingly full of angst and remorse, dispatching both his/her big arias with terrific élan and immaculate technical control.”
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph (27 July 2017)

“Stéphany trawls Sesto’s emotional and moral anguish with tragic intensity. Her technique is also formidable: Parto, Parto is simply breathtaking.”
Tim Ashley, The Guardian (27 July 2017)

“cross-dressed Stephany’s ravishingly-sung and vividly-characterised Sesto deservedly stole the show.”
Michael Church, The Independent (27 July 2017)

“The stars, however, are the women. Anna Stéphany is a revelation as Sesto. She looks terrific as a handsome boy, and her voice is lithe, clear and expressive.”
Richard Morrison, The Sunday Times (27 July 2017)

“Mezzo Anna Stéphany shines as Sesto, in anguish over the conflict between love and friendship.”
Clare Colvin, Sunday Express (6 Aug 2017)

“Stéphany proved the sensation of the night, singing with a thrilling edge and admirable dexterity.”
Stephan Pritchard, The Guardian (30 July 2017)


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Massenet WERTHER – Oper Zürich

“Anna Stéphany embodies the complex role of Charlotte’s as conceived by the director, with her sleek, warm mezzo”
Badische Zeitung, (April 2017)

“Stephany plays this role with such intensity that one would almost forget that she is making her role debut as Charlotte”
Christian Wildhagen, Neue Zurcher Zeitung (April 2017)

“Intense and moving, she offered a well-rounded middle register and shining top notes”
Nicolas Blanmont, Opera Magazine, (August 2017)

R. Strauss DER ROSENKAVALIER – Royal Opera House, Covent Garden

“Anna Stéphany was a compelling Octavian, who on top of fielding a velvety mezzo and musically sculpted lines brought boyish charm and the body language of emerging masculinity.  Her voice was well matched to the plush-toned Rachel Willis-Sørensen [Marschallin]”
John Allison, Opera Magazine (March 2017)

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Handel SERSE – Early Opera Company, St John’s Smith Square (Christian Curnyn)

“The mezzo Anna Stéphany was superb as the eponymous monarch, compellingly capturing Serse’s pomposity and capriciousness.  ‘Ombra mai fu’ confirmed Stéphany’s innate appreciation of the pulse and fluidity of Handel’s vocal lines.  Throughout she found precise emotion – and often a surprising sincerity – in Serse’s phrases, making evident the inner workings of his mind.  There were the requisite flashes of fire.  Stéphany revealed a wide range and confident control in ‘Piu che penso’ as the king anticipated Romilda’s capitulation with petulant arrogance: the fine-spun closing elaboration was a silken thread that spiralled beguilingly to a burnished bottom.  She hurled herself into Serse’s bravura aria ‘Se bramate’, making real music of the coloratura; but she showed Serse’s sensitive side too, in the poignant gentleness of ‘Il core spera’.”
Claire Seymour, Opera Magazine (February 2017)

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Anna Stéphany and the Labyrinth Ensemble, Opernhaus Zurich

“Anna Stéphany graces a stage with charm and poise. Her alluring mezzo soprano voice is effortlessly produced, and her phrasing and sensitivity to text is exceptional.”
Rick Perdian, Seen and Heard International (Apr 2016)

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Tribute Concert – OAE

“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’.

Quite a tall order, then, for Anna Stéphany, performing ‘Ah! Whither should we fly’ and ‘Lord to Thee each night and day’. Stéphany combined vocal beauty with convincing characterisation, Christie shaping the contrasting tempos and textures with style but without undue mannerism. A gentle firmness characterised the voice in ‘As with rosy steps’; Stéphany’s lower register was rich and sonorous, and she dared to adopt a whispering pianissimo to moving effect. In ‘Lord to thee’ Stéphany introduced a startling change of character in the second part of the aria, ‘Though convulsive rocks the ground’, which served to make the profound devotion of the da capo repeat yet more affecting.”
Claire Seymour, Opera Today (9 June 2013
)

Prokofiev – ALEXANDER NEVSKY, Philharmonia (May 2013)

“… so did Anna Stéphany’s chocolate brown mezzo, darkly radiant in her battlefield lament.”
Geoff Brown, The Times (7 May 2013)

Mozart – LA CLEMENZA DI TITO – Aix en Provence (July 2011

“Glorious singing from Sarah Connolly (Sesto) and Anna Stephany as Annio”
Francis Carlin, The Financial Times (8 July 2011)

Charpentier: MEDÉE – Chicago Opera Theater (April 2011)

“In the title role, the English mezzo-soprano Anna Stephany rose splendidly to hte intensely dramatic scenes of the final acts…”
John von Rhein, Opera Magazine (August 2011)

“Anna Stephany is superb in the title role.  As singer and actress, she manages to capture her character’s external anger and inner hurt.  We believe both that she loves her children and would kill them to destroy her husband Jason.”
Andrew Patner, Sun Times (25 April 2011)

Blessed Spirit: A Gluck retrospecive – WIGMORE HALL LIVE CD

“The disc is not just a musicological feast but a vocal one, above all for Anna Stephany…In the Semiramide riconosciuta opener her individual cut and thrust of phrase and tone instantly recalled for me the vibrant, electrifying impression created by the young Josephine Barstow in a similar area of 18th century repertory; later, Stephany takes the parts of Orfeo and – even more inspiringly, in excellent French – Clytemnestre in one of the peak passages from Iphighénie en Aulide”
Max Loppert, Opera Magazine (August 2010)

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Discography & Repertoire

Handel – SERSE

With Anna Stephany (mezzo), Rosemary Joshua (soprano), David Daniels (counter-tenor) and Hilary Summers (contralto).  Christian Curnyn conducts the Early Opera Company

CHANDOS (2013)

Handel – IL TRIONFO DEL TEMPO E DEL DISINGANNO

With Anna Stephany (mezzo), Lucy Crowe (soprano) and Hilary Summers (contralto) with the Early Opera Company conducted by Christian Curnyn

WIGMORE HALL, LIVE (2011)

A Gluck retrospective: BLESSED SPIRIT

Arias and ensembles from La Semiramide riconosciuta, Ezio, La clemenza di Tito, Antigono, Il re pastore, L’Ivrogne corrigé, Orfeo ed Euridice, Telemaco, Alceste, Paride ed Elena, Ihpigénie en Aulide and Armide.  Featuring Anna Stephany, Ailish Tynan and Sophie Bevan, Classical Opera Company conducted by Ian Page

WIGMORE HALL, LIVE (2010)

Artist Manager

Sue Nicholls (Cambridge)
sue.nicholls@hazardchase.co.uk
01223 706023

Assistant Artist Manager

Evie Parker (Cambridge)
evie.parker@hazardchase.co.uk
01223 706414