Tehe German-born American soprano, Stephanie Houtzeel was born in Kassel, Germany and grew up near Boston. She studied at New England Conservatory and at The Juilliard School. She was the first recipient of Juilliard’s new Vocal Arts Debut Award as well as a Laureate at the International Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition.
Stephanie Houtzeel is winning accolades for her opera and concert performances around the world. Appearances as Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier at the Wiener Staatsoper, the Opéra National de Paris, the Israeli Opera and the Graz Opera have been heralded as “vocally, dramatically and physically sublime” (Opera News). She was nominated one of the best up‐and‐coming singers by Opernwelt Magazine for her Graz performance of the Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos (under Philippe Jordan), and has gone on to sing this role in Zürich, Cologne, Tel Aviv, Antwerp and in 2011 at the Wiener Staatsoper under Sir Jeffrey Tate. She has sung all of the major W.A. Mozart roles for mezzo-soprano, most recently Dorabella in Così fan tutte in Vienna and Strasbourg, Sesto in La clemenza di Tito in Graz and Idamante in Idomeneo in Graz and Washington, DC. For Sesto, Austria’s Die Presse wrote: “…rarely has one seen such a vocally outstanding and moving performance of Sesto as on this evening; thunderous applause for this world-class performance!” She elebrated a critical and public success as Varvara in the 2011 production of Katja Kabanova at the Vienna State Opera, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst. Notices mentioned her as “an ideal Singer-Actor” (Der Standard), “her voice rich in timbre and effortless in every respect” (The Opera Critic).
Stephanie Houtzeel appears regularly in roles such as Nicklausse in Les Contes d’Hoffmann (Teatro Nacional de São Carlos-Lisbon, Antwerp, St. Gallen, Linz), Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, most recently in Vienna under Franz Welser-Möst and Lyon (Emmanuel Krivine), Marguerite in La Damnation de Faust (Antwerp, Tallinn) and Charlotte in Werther (Sassari). Her debut in Werther was hailed by the Italian press: “A surprise, a joy, has arrived with the Italian debut of Stephanie Houtzeel – a powerful, expressive voice and outstanding stage presence.” She has also sung major roles in contemporary opera, including Kreusa in Reimann’s Medea (Vienna), Amando in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre (Graz), and World Premieres by Austrian composers Peter Androsch and Balduin Sulzer.
Stephanie Houtzeel’s Baroque performances are wide-ranging, on stage and in concert. 2011 marked her debut at the Dresden Semperoper as Ottavia in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, a role she also sang to critical acclaim at the Boston Early Music Festival. In 2010 she celebrated a successful debut at the New York City Opera as Rosmira in George Frideric Handel’s Partenope. She performed and recorded the title role in Lully’s Armide with Opera Lafayette (on Naxos), noted by the The Washington Post as “the outstanding performance…sung with all the ardor, intelligence and vocal luster at Houtzeel’s command, which was plenty.” Her New York appearance as La Haine in Gluck’s Armide ‘stopped the show’ according to the New York Times. Other baroque roles include Juno and Mystery in Purcell’s Fairy Queen in Rennes, G.F. Handel’s Ariodante in Linz and Ino in Semele in Graz.
Stephanie Houtzeel’s concert appearances include Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony and Lieder aus Des Knaben Wunderhorn at the Vienna Musikverein and Avery Fisher Hall, appearances with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Bruckner Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre de la Monnaie, NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg, Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Collegium Vocale Gent, Combattimento Consort Amsterdam, Ensemble Musica Aeterna, Latvian and Estonian National Symphonies, Real Filharmonia de Galicia, New York Festival of Song, Musicians from Marlboro, Styriarte Graz, International Bruckner Festival and Great Performers of Lincoln Center. She has collaborated in concert with conductors Dennis Russell Davies, Philippe Jordan, Pinchas Steinberg, Philippe Herreweghe, Teodor Currentzis, Eric Ericson, Claus Peter Flor, Karel Mark Chichon, Jérémie Rohrer and Michael Hofstetter.
In addition to the Armide CD, Stephanie Houtzeel sings the title role on the world premiere recording of von Suppé’s Fatinitza (CPO). She sings the Alto soIos in W.A. Mozart’s Requiem under rising star Teodor Currentzis on a 2011 Alpha Records release. Her CD of G.F. Handel cantatas with the Bouts Ensemble (Raumklang) garnered high marks from both The American Record Review and Classics Today.