Stephen Salters  
Baritone  
New England First Place Winner 1996
review

 

Stephen Salters returned to Odyssey Opera last spring as Smirnov in Sir William Walton’s The Bear, after appearing with the company in 2013 as Steffano Colonna in Wagner’s Rienzi. Other highlights of the 2014-2015 season included the roles of Crown and the Crab Man in Porgy and Bess at the Ravinia Festival, solo performances in the series “Insights Immersion: The Many Worlds of Antonín Dvořák” at the 92nd Street Y, and in “The Dream Unfinished: A Symphonic Benefit for Civil Rights” in New York City last summer. The baritone also took on the title role in “Orfeo in Orvieto” (Italy), peformed in con­cert with the Orch­estre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo in Monaco, and joined the Vancou­ver Orchestra for concert performances of Verdi, Copland and spirituals.

 

Originally from Milford, CT, Stephen studied at the Boston University Opera Institute, where he won The Esther B. and Albert S. Kahn Career Entry Award, and in 1995 took part in the Merola Opera Program. On the opera stage Stephen excels both in contemporary works and in standard repertory. Highlights of the baritone’s operatic career of over thirty roles have included Handel (Melisso in Alcina, Achilla in Guilio Cesare), Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Count Almaviva, and Guglielmo, Dr. Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Dandini in La Cenerentola, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore, and Silvio inI Pagliacci. Stephen is especially known for his many forays into contemporary opera: the title role of the Haitian patriot Toussaint L’Ouverture in the world premiere of Elena Ruehr’s “Toussaint Before the Spirits,’’ several roles with Opera Boston (Kovalyov in Shostakovich’ The Nose and Bank Account Bill in Weill’s The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, along with Hercules and the High Priest in Gluck’s Alceste), the Minotaur in the world premiere of Philippe Fénelon’s Les Rois for Opera National in Bordeaux, and Captain Balstrode in Britten’s Peter Grimes at Tanglewood on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the piece’s American premiere. Most recently Stephen appeared in the title role of the base­ball player Josh Gibson in the world pre­miere of Daniel Sonenberg's The Summer King with Portland Ovations at the University of Southern Maine.

 

The many concert highlights for Stephen include the title role in Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center Concert Hal, Berlioz’ “Lélio” with the Orchestre National de Lille, Vaughan Williams’ “Serenade to Music” at Tanglewood, and works by Elena Ruehr, including her setting of Langston Hughes’ “Gospel Cha Cha,” written especially for Stephen, with The Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center and with New York’s Trinity Choir. Frequent concerts with the Lark Quartet have included premiere performances of “Billy in the Darbies,” based on a song in Melville’s Billy Budd, written for him by William Bolcom.

 

Stephen Salters first gained wide attention in 1996, when he took first place in Belgium’s Queen Elisabeth International Competition of Singing, received first place in the International Puccini-Licia Albanese Competition, and received a George London Foundation Award in memory of Bruce Yarnel. Shortly thereafter he won the prestigious Walter N. Naumburg Prize.

 

 

Mr. Salters is represented by Schwalbe & Partners.

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