Puccini’s ‘La rondine’ takes flight in St. Louis

“Music director Stephen Lord has a special affinity for the opera — he conducted it for the Dallas Opera in 2007 — and he deftly balances sugar and spice with members of the St. Louis Symphony.”

Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News
Opera Theatre soars with ‘La Rondine’

“Stephen Lord conducts the St. Louis Symphony with gusto, emphasizing the grandiose arrangements people who love Puccini expect.”

Lynn Venhaus, Belleville News-Democrat
Puccini's powerful music and great performances highlight 'La Rondine' at Opera Theatre

“OTSL Music Director Stephen Lord conducts the orchestra with the assurance we have come to expect of him over the years, while the ensemble of (mostly) St. Louis Symphony musicians responds with powerful, impeccable playing. Puccini’s entrancing score comes through in all its glory.”

Chuck Lavazzi, KDHX St. Louis
La Rondine “The Swallow” | Opera Theatre of St. Louis (OTSL)

“It has been quite a while since I’ve attended a show with a crowd as enthusiastic as those present at the opening night of this show. The amount of love they continually showed to the conductor, Stephen Lord, and his orchestra, was moving and, of course, extremely well-deserved.”

Megan Washausen, Playback: St Louis
La Rondine – Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

“Lord gave a reading of the score to cherish, leading all his musicians, from singers to instrumentalists, in a beautiful performance.”

Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Dialogues of the Carmelites in Majestic Production

“Conductor Stephen Lord led the NEC Orchestra in Poulenc’s subtle irregular meters, bringing out the characteristic rhythmic flexibility while supporting the voices.”

Laura Stanfield Prichard, Boston Musical Intelligencer
The Future Is Now for San Francisco Opera's Adler Fellows

“The San Francisco Opera Orchestra, under Opera Theatre of St. Louis Music Director Stephen Lord, partnered every singer and scene with sensitivity and musical character.”

Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice
An extraordinary vocal display

“With Stephen Lord and the Opera Orchestra providing vibrant accompaniment, one singer after another took the stage for an aria or duet designed to show off their vocal brilliance and interpretive subtlety.”

Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Una bella notte at MOT

“Kudos as well to the evening-long robust sound of the MOT Orchestra under the direction of Stephen Lord.”

Amy J. Parrent, Between the Lines News
Structurally Sound mixes chamber music, architecture

“Puccini’s glorious score took flight on the wing of conductor Stephen Lord’s passion and patience, and the cast delivered at key moments.”

Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press
MOT's production of 'Madame Butterfly' has charm

“The Humming Chorus, incidentally, was exquisitely played by the MOT orchestra, with conductor Stephen Lord drawing out some striking tonal colors. Lord took a broad, romantic approach to the score without getting mawkish. The rise and fall of the music was gently exaggerated to fine effect.”

George Bulanda, Detroit News
MADAMA BUTTERFLY - Michigan Opera Theatre

“The latest production, conducted with passion and patience by Stephen Lord and directed with thoughtful efficiency by Bernard Uzan, is another in a line of no-nonsense traditionalist stagings right down to Butterfly’s final hara-kiri.... Lord’s work in the pit deserves another shout-out. He favored relaxed tempos, conducting with an ear for the long, arching lines of Puccini’s phrases. The MOT Orchestra sounded gorgeous under his baton.”

Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press
THE ELIXIR OF LOVE - Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

“In keeping with the production, conductor Stephen Lord’s musical reading emphasized the work’s comedy rather than its veins of sweet melancholy; the bountiful energy rising from the pit seemed to spring from the excitement of young love itself.”

Fred Cohn, Opera News
Saint Louis: A Hit is a Hit is a Hit

“In the pit, Stephen Lord presided with his usual skill and stylistic acumen, the Maestro totally at one with his cast and making the orchestra a full partner in the drama.”

James Sohre, Opera Today
THE MAGIC FLUTE - Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

“The orchestra sounded particularly fine-tuned under Stephen Lord.”

James Sohre, Opera Today
In 39th season, Opera Theater of St. Louis shows good health, new work

"Another strategy in St. Louis is to cultivate new talent — something at which Lord, who took on his present role at the festival in 1992, is particularly adept."

Anne Midgette, Washington Post
Dialogues of the Carmelites/The Elixir of Love - Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Missouri

“The conductor Stephen Lord respects both the score’s zesty and its melancholy moods.”

George Loomis, Financial Times
The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis premieres '27' alongside three classics

“Other big pluses were the buoyant, idiomatic conducting of Stephen Lord.”

Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal
Elixir of Love: Fun and endearing comedy remains winning formula for Opera Theatre St. Louis

“Boasting a terrific chorus and backed by the musicians of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra (directed by OTSL music director Stephen Lord), OTSL’s Elixir is the real thing — the sort of musical tonic that, just as Dr. Dulcamara promises, will warm even the most jaded of hearts to the thrill of first love.”

Malcolm Gay, Riverfront Times
St. Louis Opera fest serves potent brew as an opener

“This ‘Elixir’ is a potent brew, brightly sung, inventively staged by James Robinson and urgently conducted by music director Stephen Lord. The pitside St. Louis Symphony matches the energy level on stage.... There is no denying Lord’s feeling for the Donizetti idiom, and the orchestra plays with animation and rhythmic point…. This charming ‘Elixir of Love’ sets the performance bar high for the remainder of the season.”

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
'Elixir of Love' is a grand night of singing and humor

“Music director Stephen Lord worked his magic with a masterful touch, keeping it bright and effusive, superbly accompanied by St. Louis Symphony musicians.”

Lynn Venhaus, Belleville News-Democrat
'Elixir of Love' delivers a happy potion at Opera Theatre

“There was another great conductor in the pit: music director Stephen Lord, an acknowledged expert in bel canto style. He led both singers and his split of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra with a sure hand and understanding.”

Sarah Bryan Miller, Saint Louis Post-Dispatch
A Masked Ball
“Under Stephen Lord’s vivid, focused conducting of the Canadian Opera Company orchestra, the performers bring out the tragedy (and bits of comedy) in Verdi’s score.”
Glenn Sumi, Now (Toronto)
Pieczonka floods Canadian Opera Company's A Masked Ball with love and forgiveness
“Verdi’s score, with the COC orchestra under the baton of Stephen Lord, flows right into the heart.”
Stanley Fefferman,
A Masked Ball is Verdi at his finest
“The totally sure-footed and confident conducting of Stephen Lord make[s] this such a delight. This orchestra sounds as wondrous with the thunder of Verdi as it does with the filigree of Mozart.”
Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star
A Future So Bright for SFO Adlers
“Stephen Lord proved a true singer’s conductor. With the orchestra freed from the confines of the pit, he allowed it to bloom gloriously in aria after aria without ever overpowering the singers. Lord’s acute awareness of his singer’s strengths and limitations enabled each and every Adler to shine.”
Jason Victor Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice
“This wonderful evening was capped by Stephen Lord, who conducted with unusual sensitivity to the line and rhythm of Rossini’s melodies. He never rushed, and he found details of orchestration and dynamics that made it abundantly clear why 'La Donna del Lago' ranks among Rossini’s most beautiful scores.”
Simon Williams, Opera News
“The score flowed smoothly under conductor Stephen Lord’s leadership.”
George Loomis, Musical America
“The music was thrillingly executed, starting with the buoyant, idiomatic conducting of Stephen Lord.”
Heidi Waleson, Wall Street Journal
LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR - Canadian Opera Company
“American conductor Stephen Lord led the COC Orchestra in a vigorous account of the score making much of the work's dark tonalities. He tended to slow his tempos for the best-known set pieces, but never so much that they lost momentum.”
Christopher Hoile, Opera News
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