Vocalist - Baritone, Symphony Pops
Lyric Opera offers sterling cast in 'Rigoletto'
“In the title role of the hunchbacked court jester who loses his moral compass and his daughter, Stephen Powell was a commanding presence.… There was consistent expressive force in the baritone’s vocalism and a communicative intensity that made the deeply flawed character affecting.”
Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun
'Rigoletto' at The Lyric Opera
“Powell is a versatile emotionally expressive baritone that plays an exceptional Rigoletto. His physical approach to the character’s deformity allows the audience to easily empathize with him, even sympathize with him, longing for his life to be better. Powell’s ability to quick change from venting bile and harsh anger in ‘Cortigiani! Vil razza dannata!’ to a humbled and desperate man pleading for mercy in ‘Miei signore…perdono, pietate…’ is astonishing. His vocal prowess brings forth a storm of emotions that rivals the storm brewing in Act III and his character’s overall stage presence is beyond impressive. A stunning performance given; the title character receiving all the justice due of such an iconic and richly complex creation.”
Amanda Gunther, DC Metro Theater Arts
Cleveland Orchestra: Bach and Orff with Walters and Feddeck
“The agile baritone Stephen Powell ran through a vast repertory of tone from masculine-stentorian to velvety falsetto and floating sotto voce and acted out the boozy Abbott of Cockaigne with staggerings and hiccups.”
Daniel Hathaway, Cleveland Classical
'Carmina Burana' gets new lease in performance by Cleveland Orchestra, Chorus and guests (review)
“Stephen Powell proved the complete musical package. Not only did the baritone provoke laughter as the drunken, noise-emitting Abbot of Cockaigne. Between several arias, he also demonstrated a strikingly broad vocal range, from a resonant low register to a truly beautiful falsetto.”
Zachary Lewis, Cleveland Plain Dealer
Spectacular 'Rigoletto' ends Sommerfest
"In the demanding title role, baritone Stephen Powell was nothing short of phenomenal; it's hard to imagine a more complex, more integrated portrayal. Powell's is a voice of stunning potency and immediacy, and he used it brilliantly to capture the successive waves of rage and tenderness that engulf his character (a hunchbacked, acid-tongued court jester who is also a fatally overprotective father). He appeared to hold nothing back, yet had power in reserve for his final, anguished cries."
Larry Fuchsberg, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Classical music review 'Rigoletto' a celebration by the river
"In the title role, baritone Stephen Powell painted a compelling portrait of the embittered court jester whose daughter is his sole source of joy. Both musically and dramatically, Powell navigated difficult transitions fluidly, quickly transforming from jaded and venomous to gently paternal or desperate and heartbroken."
Rob Hubbard, St. Paul Pioneer Press
'Carmina Burana' rousing start to May Festival
"Baritone Stephen Powell's contributions were both refined and humorous. He was a warm-toned storyteller in ‘Omnia Sol temperat' and his later ‘Dies, nox et omnia,' which were beautifully shaded. His entertaining characterization of the Abbot made the audience laugh out loud."
Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati.com
Music of the Baroque is steady with Bach Mass
"Baritone Stephen Powell was unostentatiously manly throughout."
Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune
Robertson, SLSO in a Bach B-minor Mass with a split personality
"Baritone Stephen Powell essayed his two very different arias with beauty, skill and understanding."
Sarah Bryan Miller, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Tenors on the march
"The strongest singer was the baritone, Stephen Powell, as Giorgio Germont, Alfredo's unsympathetic father, who disapproves of his son's affair with Violetta. Mr Powell's stirring rendition of ‘Di Provenza il mar' proved the highlight of the afternoon."
The Economist
"Stephen Powell was powerful and intelligent as the archdeacon lusting after the gypsy girl."
Leslie Kandell, Musical America
From a Forgotten Composer, A Familiar Romantic Story
"The rich-voiced baritone Stephen Powell sang with power and authority as the Archdeacon."
Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times
Man lebt ja nur ein einzig mal: Schmidt's Notre Dame
"Stephen Powell excelled in the central role of the archdeacon. His German was beautiful, and his phrasing expressive. Powell has a strong, sonorous baritone, and as in the Traviata I saw him in last month, he proved capable of bringing psychological depth to an unsympathetic character."
Opera Obsession
"Baritone Stephen Powell sang with nuance and a gruff but appealing sound as Germont and received an enthusiastic ovation."
Ronni Reich, New Jersey Star-Ledger
"Germont, Alfredo's father, may be the most middle-class figure in Verdi, a baritone without revenge, blighted love or a visible daughter to fuel his outbursts. Still, the long, intricate duet in which he must persuade Violetta to renounce his son's love, even as, step by step, he learns to appreciate her character and her tragedy, is the emotional center of the opera. Stephen Powell, a City Opera stalwart since 1995, sang and performed this part with mature flavor and evident ease, phrasing beautifully and filling the theatre with seamless sound. Verdi's operas are difficult to bring off without great baritones such as this one, one would like to hear what Powell could do with more intense parts such as Boccanegra and Renato."
John Yohalem, Musical America
"A few bright spots relieved the gloom, notably stalwart NYCO baritone Stephen Powell as Alfredo's stern father. He won the afternoon's biggest ovation for his stylish performance of the aria ‘Di Provenza.'"
James Jorden, New York Post
"The biggest ovations of the afternoon went to the baritone Stephen Powell as Alfredo's disapproving father, Giorgio Germont. They were deserved. Mr. Powell brought a strong, dark and textured voice to the role and gave an elegant account of the great aria ‘Di Provenza il mar,' in which he tries to persuade Alfredo to give up his reckless affair with Violetta and return to the family home."
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times
'Traviata' opens City Opera's short season
"Also excellent was baritone Stephen Powell as Alfredo's father, Giorgio Germont. His rich, mellow tone gave his medium-size voice the warmth associated with that rare breed, the true Verdi baritone. He drew the day's biggest ovation for his impassioned performance of the famous aria ‘Di Provenza il mar.'"
Mike Silverman, Associated Press
"Stephen Powell has matured into a grave, seriously heart-breaking Rigoletto with a voice of granite weight and power."
Charles H. Parsons, Opera News
Review: Pittsburgh Opera's 'La Traviata'
"Baritone Stephen Powell's excellent singing served a well-honed dramatic presentation of Giorgio's gradual recognition that Violetta deserves a degree of respect he never expected."
Mark Kanny, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Anna Samuil is first-rate Violetta in 'La Traviata' at the Benedum
"As the elder Germont, Stephen Powell was every bit the match for the heroine. His lyrical baritone is young-toned for an old man role, but he shaped the lines with sensitivity and delivered the words with expressive inflection. His Act 2 duet with Violetta -- the heart of this opera -- was haunting and emotionally compelling."
Robert Croan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Review: Carmina Burana
"Stephen Powell has such a fluid baritone; he very inventively incorporated tenor and bass parts of his characterizations of various parts with ease and skill. The audience loved his staggering (physically and vocally) as the drunk Abbott."
Lewis Whittington, ConcertoNet.com

"Standing well over 6 feet tall, Stephen Powell has the physicality of a Mafia capo and the demeanor of your favorite hip uncle. He started out as a pianist and switched to singing when he was 25. Since then, he has sung and performed opera with major orchestras and companies throughout the world ... and, most recently, at Great American Ballpark during the seventh inning stretch. Coburn, a veteran of six Rigoletto productions, says Powell's Rigoletto is 'fantastic. It's perfect!'"

Anne Arenstein, Cinncinati City Beat
Atlanta Symphony review: A new fanfare and brilliant springtime rarities from Rachmaninoff and Britten
"Sergei Rachmaninoff's ‘Spring,' a 15-minute cantata for baritone, chorus and orchestra, premiered in 1902 in Moscow.... Drawn from Nikolai Nekrasov's poem ‘The Green Noise' - a folk expression for the return of springtime - the cantata is riveting as storytelling and meltingly lovely as music. Snowed in for the winter in a peasant hut in Russia, a husband recounts his wife's confession of infidelity and his plan to murder her in revenge. Baritone Stephen Powell, with a flowing delivery, chestnut-brown timbre and excellent Russian diction, sang with operatic intensity, as if it were Verdi."
Pierre Ruhe, Arts Critic Atlanta
"Impeccable intonation, magnificent dynamic shading, near-perfect ensemble and, above all, crystal clear diction drove the forces onwards and upwards, ever inspired by the imposing presence of American baritone Stephen Powell (left), who delivered his words with magisterial complacency, revelling in menace yet maintaining a dramatically statuesque poise, a creeping right hand the only visual concession to that terrifying moment when the dismembered hand appears to scrawl its graffiti of doom on the wall. His every single syllable cut through the texture like a blade, and while I have to confess that his voice is new to me, I have no hesitation in placing Powell up among the very best I have ever heard in the role."
Marc Rochester, Singapore Straits Times
Worlds collide gorgeously, in song
"The complex, wrenching scene between Violetta and Germont ... is the heart of 'Traviata' and one of the finest things in opera. Elizabeth Futral and Stephen Powell play it magnificently, alive to every flicker of feeling: indignation, fear, shame, sympathy, grief, resignation.... Powell's sonorous baritone vibrates with sincerity, but he wisely avoids making Germont overly sympathetic."
Larry Fuchsberg, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Minnesota Opera basks in the rapturous passion of Verdi's La traviata
"La traviata offers a trio of astonishing performances.... And rounding out the three, Powell's sumptuous baritone establishes resolve, but without sacrificing the underlying sympathy of his character."
Brad Richason, Minnesota Examiner
Minnesota Opera production of 'La Traviata' keeps it real
"As the father who asks the dying heroine to sacrifice her dreams of love for his family's sake, Powell uses his versatile voice and strong acting skills to create a fascinating blend of resolve, compassion and guilt."
Rob Hubbard, Pioneer Press
Watts, CSO deliver elegant Beethoven
"Powell, who will sing the title role in Cincinnati Opera's 'Rigoletto' this summer, put his warmly expressive baritone to work in the 'Libera me.'"
Janelle Gelfand, Cincinnati Enquirer
"Soloist Stephen Powell's mellow baritone fit both the soothing Hostias and the urgent Libera me, where Fauré allows the Last Judgment to intrude, if just momentarily."
Mary Ellyn Hutton, ConcertoNet.com
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